Writing Prompt Week! Thursday: Betsy Wheeler

Welcome to Day 4 of Writing Prompt Week at Gigantic Sequins. In 2006, when I was a fellow at The June Seminar for Younger Writers, poet Betsy Wheeler was the writer-in-residence. I’d written a long-ish poem, 3 pages or so, and Betsy told me to go further. So, I wrote two more pages, and Betsy said, Go further. Eventually the thing turned into one long poem of chapbook-length, something I couldn’t have imagined writing at the time.  Betsy is full of wise-wiseness, and her poems reflect her spirit, her desire to go beyond the boundaries we (sometimes unconsciously) set for ourselves. The prompt Betsy’s offered today is an excerpt from Flaneur Walks – Pamphlet Series, released by Shape and Nature Press. Much gratitude to Betsy! Happy wandering. — Sophie Klahr, poetry editor


Mental Detours: 

 What you’ll need: notebook, writing utensil, timer or stopwatch, and a clean windshield (if you wear one).

Where you’ll begin: The Roost, 1 Market Street ** ( This prompt was written specifically for a walk in Northampton, MA, but if you’re not lucky enough to be in lovely Northampton, the local independent coffee shop of your choice will do!)


After purchasing a beverage or treat of your choice, next choose a seat in the cafe that suits you.

Set the timer for 8-10 minutes. Free write at least twenty lines in that time frame. Here are some guidelines to get you started:

Begin the first line with the first words: “The first time I…”

Include one metaphor or image utilizing an object in the café surroundings

Include one observation informed by one of your six senses

Use at least five of the following words

refract                         bolt

leaflet                         stud

harmony                    spill

mirage                       transom

sister                          stain

green                         neighbor


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s