Workshops + Activities

This #NaPoWriMo, as well as posting daily prompts on our Facebook page, some of the Syntax team have compiled a guide to some of their favourite poetry writing games and exercises! These are great ways to engage in poetry as a newbie, and can be done alone or even be done with family and friends. All you need is a pen and paper (or a laptop, or your phone!) and a spare 15-20 minutes.

Emotions Poetry Game

We’ve really enjoyed using this workshop designed by Jacob Sam-La Rose in schools across Peterborough to get school children writing poems for I Know, I Wish, I Will. You can play this writing game in pairs or groups, all you need to do is come up with a short list of emotions (happy, sad, angry…) and then pick one in secret and answer the following prompts in as much detail as you can. Then, take turns to read your new poems to the group, and it’s their job to guess which emotion you picked!

Try to write in full, detailed sentences if you can. For example, if your emotion is “joy”, and for you, joy tastes like candyfloss, instead write “it tastes like fizzing fairground candyfloss, melting in my mouth like clouds”.

Once you’ve done this a few times, we recommend using a thesaurus to learn new descriptive words. Once you reach step 4, and have come up with your sentences, underline 5 adjectives or verbs, and find new synonyms for those words in the thesaurus. If you don’t have one online you can use

Don’t forget, you can send us the poems you come up with on social media and we’ll share them. Happy writing!

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