Open the door: Jo Bell’s writing prompts

During Lockdown (version 2) Jo Bell, a former Canal Laureate and all round poetry wonder woman, published a daily writing prompt for a new writing community that formed, very swiftly, on Facebook. Her prompts were wide ranging and often surprising. There was no obligation to write every day or use every prompt but many people did. If you wanted to share your draft work or comment on other writer’s pieces within the privacy of a supportive closed group you could. Very generously, Jo made all of the prompts available to everyone. They could provide you with some lively stimulus for your own writing over these gloomy December days.

Jo’s prompts include links to poems which in some way embrace her chosen theme for a particular day. One prompt, which I must use myself once term is over, was Open the Door. It includes a link to one of my all-time top five favourite poems The Door by Miroslav Holub. I have a poster of that poem in my office in the Ada Byron King Building at Nottingham Trent. It has moved with me into many different offices over the years and I always love it when a student or a colleague discovers the poem for the first time. I last saw the poster in mid June on a very rapid, safely organised visit to collect a laptop and some books that I couldn’t do without. I only wish, like many many other people, I could open that door once more and return to some kind of normality. But for now, we can try to open doors to our imaginations and keep our creative spark alive. Of course if we open any door, as Holub says,

At least

there’ll be

a draught.

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