Prompt 23 and 24, Hour 19

Pick a poem that you wrote earlier in the marathon and then write a companion poem for it. The two can be closely linked and even share a title, or a riff on the same title, or the poem can function independently but explore the same ideas from a different direction.


Pick one of your favorite poems by another author and then write a poem as a response to it.

The two can be closely linked or your poem can function independently but explore the same ideas from a different direct. You should reference the poem your poem is a response to at the top of the page.

Prompt 22, Hour 18

Write an epistolary poem: A poem that is a letter to someone or something. It can be to someone you actually know, a former version of yourself, or even an abstract concept like death. The title should start with Dear and then be the name, or thing you are addressing. For example a possible title could be “Dear self with bangs and glasses”.

Prompt 20, Hour 16

I want you to write a poem about a journey, a literal or metaphorical one, but you cannot use the word journey or trip in the poem.

Prompt 18 and 19, Hour 15

Prompt 18: The Beginning

Write a poem set before the world as we know it came to be. It can be set in the blackness of space, it can involve the big bang or genesis, or anything you imagine.

Prompt 19: The End

Write a poem set after or during the apocalypse.


Prompt 17, Hour 14

For this hour I want you to use the quote bellow by Robin Wall-Kimmerer from her book Braiding Sweetgrass as the jumping off point.

“The land knows you, even when you are lost.”

Prompt contributed by Ramona Elke

Prompt 16, Hour 13

Open a dictionary. Pick out an unusual word. Let your poem define that word without ever using the word itself (except perhaps, as the final word in the poem.) You may choose to use the word as your title if that works for you.

Credit for this prompt goes to Donna Meyer,

Congratulations Poetry Half Marathoners!

Congratulations Half Marathoners! I am so happy that you have completed 12 poems in 12 hours! That is wonderful. Thank you for joining us in this madness.

In the past I have personally verified that everyone who applied for a certificate was eligible and then I would make a certificate. That is not possible this year and so we will be operating on the honor system.

If you completed the Poetry Half Marathon please consider the following certificate yours, to update with your name, to print if you choose to do so. We will be taking feedback into consideration, so if you really feel strongly about this new state of affairs please email me at to explain your position.

Click on the link below and download the edit ready certificate if you completed The Half Marathon. Congratulations again on your completion of The Half Marathon.

The link to download the editable version is here.

The visual example of what the certificate will look like is right below this text.

Also remember that this year we will be putting together a 2019 Poetry Marathon Anthology.

Submissions will open July 2nd and stay open till the 16th.

All submissions must include two poems, no more, no less. The email address is But do not submit early! You must follow all the instructions below!

The subject line of all emails must be Poetry Submission. Poems must be included in the body of the email.

All poems submitted must be written during the 2019 Poetry marathon. All poems should be completely edited and contain no major grammatical errors.

The first word of every line should not have a capitalization unless it is intentional! Word has an auto caps feature that you can turn off by following the instructions below.

To turn off automatic capitalization, follow these steps:
  1. Go to Tools. | AutoCorrect Options.
  2. On the AutoCorrect tab, deselect the Capitalize First Letter Of Sentences check box, and click OK.

You must indicate which hour each poem was written in, and whether you participate in the full or the half marathon. Only poets who completed the whole or half marathon will be eligible to submit.

There is no guarantee that by submitting your poem will be selected although the goal is to include one poem by everyone who submits.

Digital copies will be made available for free to any contributor. Print copies will be available for a reasonable price and any money that is made from them will go towards covering the cost of the marathon.

Want to know what the 2017 Poetry Marathon Anthology was like? Pick up your copy here.

Prompt 15, Hour 12

Half Marathoners this is your last prompt! Full marathoners you are now half way there! Either way, congratulations on getting this far!

The prompt for this hour is to write an erasure.

Erasures are a form of poetry where you create a poem using existing text. You take that text and by blacking out or erasing terms you can create a new poem.

Source material for this can be anything. Lots of people do this with the New York Times but you can also use pages from classic novels or letters or anything that has enough text. Some poets do erasures on other authors poems, but they do have to be long ones.

You can pick out a page to print online, use a page from one of your magazines around the house or you can use the handy erasure app over at Wave Poetry.



Prompt 14, Hour 11

Write a poem as a letter to a former version of yourself. Make that fact clear in the title. For example it could be called “Dear Former Self” or it could be much more specific such as “Dear Caitlin, Age 19 with the Broken Nose”.

The poem itself can focus on your past self or the future that is coming for it, or something else entirely.