Home > Prompts > The Tuesday Prompt: The Bike Write, by Jen Currin

200x267_BioPicNeed some extra motivation to get in your poetry entry for our 2016 Poetry Contest? Here’s a poetry writing prompt from 2012 Poetry Contest Judge Jen Currin. And when you’re finished, be sure to check out our contest here!

Jen has has also published four collections of poetry: The Sleep of Four Cities (Anvil Press, 2005); Hagiography (Coach House, 2008); The Inquisition Yours (Coach House, 2010), which won the 2011 Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry and was shortlisted for the 2011 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize (B.C. Book Prizes), the Lambda Literary Award in Poetry, and the ReLit Award; and School (Coach House, 2014), which was a finalist for the 2015 Dorothy Livesay Prize and the Pat Lowther Award.

This is a procedural process that will get you exercising and writing.

Step 1: Get your hands on a bike. (If you don’t own one, borrow. Do not steal one, or your writing as well as your karma will suffer.)

Step 2: Decide on the limits of your procedure. How many blocks will you bike before stopping? How many stops will you make on your route? How many words, lines, sentences or paragraphs will you write at each stop? It might be helpful to start with something easily accomplishable, like stopping five times, once every five blocks, and writing one line or sentence at each stop. You can make the procedure more challenging by imposing other constraints, such as starting each line with a certain word or letter, or incorporating an object from each place you stop.

Step 3: Pack your writing instruments and some water.

Step 4: Get on your bike and write!