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
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!)
DETOUR #1: BEG, STEAL, OR BORROW
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