Writing Prompts and more for At-Home Writers: Jennifer Perrine

Jennifer Perrine

Welcome to Tuesday’s edition of Prompts for Writers. Today’s writer is Jennifer Perrine.

Jennifer Perrine is a 2019 Oregon Literary Fellowship recipient in poetry and the author of three books of poetry: No Confession, No Mass (2015), In the Human Zoo (2011), and The Body Is No Machine (2007). They shared three prompts:

  1. Have someone else give you 7 pairs of rhyming words. Use these as the end rhymes for a sonnet. (The fancy name for this is bouts-rimés, and it’s fun to play with another writer friend with whom you can swap rhymes, but you can ask anyone–or 7 different people!–for those rhyming pairs.)
  2. Choose someone in your neighborhood whom you’ve seen in passing but don’t actually know. Imagine/invent what they did today, in great detail. 
  3. Write a list of things that are usually part of your life, and that are now absent during this strange time. Write another list of things that are more present now than they usually are. (Try to stick to the sensory–each list might include objects, people, places, sounds, smells, etc.) Write a poem that includes elements from both lists.


Jennifer’s current reading list includes:   

  • Essays One by Lydia Davis 
  • Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong
  • Frankissstein by Jeanette Winterson ( Jennifer adds” I should mention this one’s gotten a lot of heat for being transphobic, and I’m reading it to see whether I share that critique.”)

Jennifer posts what they’re currently reading on Goodreads, and says “the really great books make it onto my Instagram.”


Jennifer also hosts a poetry radio show, The Occasion, on KBOO.  The guest on Monday was Kelly Terwilliger, and the theme of the episode is “Luck.” Episodes are eventually archived on KBOO, and the episode that featured Brittney Corrigan can be found online on the KBOO site.


Tune in Friday for a prompt for Oregon’s Poet Laureate Kim Stafford. Let us know how you’re doing, and how your writing is going. Email Susan Moore, Director of Programs for Writers, at susan@literary-arts.org.

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