September Sealey Challenge Prompts

This month's Patreon newsletter includes 30 prompts to inspire you to create and write, all inspired by the poetry collections I read in August for the Sealey Challenge. I would like to share 10 of these prompts with you!

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Prompt 1: write after a film scene; think something memorable, the first time you saw something, a movie scene you'll never forget.

Prompt 2: write after 'Self-Portrait With & Without' by Chen Chen.

Self-Portrait With & Without by Chen Chen

With dried cranberries. Without a driver's license. With my mother's mother's worry. Without, till recently, my father's glasses. With an A in English, a C in Chemistry. With my mother saying, You have to be three times better than the white kids, at everything. Without a dog or cat. With a fish. With a fish I talked to before bed, telling him my ideas for new kinds of candy. With a tutor in Mandarin. With the 1986 low-budget live-action TV version of Journey to the West. With Monkey King's quest for redemption, Buddhism through monster-of-the-week battle sequences. With thinking I've grown up now because I regularly check the news in the morning. With the morning the children, spared or missed by the child with a gun, go back to school, make the same jokes they made three Mondays ago but in a different voice. With the younger brother who is taller than I am. With the youngest brother who wants to go an art school. With my mother's multiplying worries. With my brothers, my brothers. With the cry of bats. With the salt of circumstance. Without citizenship. With the white boy in ninth grade who called me ugly. Without my father, for a year, because he had to move away, to the one job he could find, on the other side of the state. With his money, transferred to my mother. With William Carlos Williams. With the local library. With yet another bake sale for Honduras in Massachusetts suburbia. With the earthquake in my other country. With my mother's long-distance calls. With my aunt's calls from China, when the towers fell. How far are you from New York? How far are you from New York? With cities fueled by scars. With the footprint of a star. With the white boy I liked. With him calling me ugly. With my knees on the floor. With my hands begging for straighter teeth, lighter skin, blue eyes, green eyes, any eyes brighter, other than mine.

Prompt 3: use the ghost line below and credit Michelle Marie Jacquot.
"Have you ever prayed out loud to no one just to hear the sound?"

Prompt 4: write about what a place has taught you.

Prompt 5: write a poem titled 'If the Earth was my Mother' after Caleb Parkin.

If the Earth was My Mother by Caleb Parkin

then the Earth yodels in carparks and stairwells. She tells endless tales

over morning tea leaves, while she gossips in customary understories.

If the Earth is my mother, she's a composer of gin and free-poured song,

a knitter of waste-wool, a forager of material, seamstress of the surplus.

The Earth is a feeder: baker of suet islands on bubbling oceans of stew -

cook for several hundred million imagined diners. A wearer of outlandish wigs.

When Earth doesn't call, that's the worry; she gives too much away in her silences.

If the Earth is my mother, she's had IVs and pipelines fitted, right to her heart.

Earth has evolved, changed landscape. She finds it hard to rest,

even after a long and chemical winter, a malignant aftermath.

She knows her own and her neighbours' maladies, her own and others' offspring.

Earth will mother you all, if you'll let her (or even if you won't). If the Earth is

any kind of step-, -in-law, drag, foster, second, adoptive, convoluted, maddening mother

to you, then it's time you called her - right now - so she can let you know it's serious.

Prompt 6: write about an irrational fear you had as a child.

Prompt 7: use the phrase 'the coffining dark'.

Prompt 8: use the ghost line below and credit Natalie Diaz.
"God created us with absence in our hands."

Prompt 9: if you died tomorrow, what things would you miss in particular?

Prompt 10: write a poem phonetically, see the poem below as an example.

iii by Jos Charles

tonite i wuld luv to rite the mothe inn the guarden / 2 greev it / & as a mater off forme / did u kno not a monthe goes bye / a tran i kno doesnt dye / just shye off 27 / its such a plesure to b alive / inn this trembled soot / u lent / shock is a struktured responce / a whord lost inn the mouthe off keepers / & u thum at the mothe / a dozen bes / i tetherred thees nites / i gathred so manie treees


If you chose to use any of these prompts and publish your work on Instagram, please use #kristianasprompts so I can find them and share them.

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