The University of Iowa

Writing Prompts from UI Press Author Kendra Allen

WRITING PROMPTS & BOOK SUGGESTIONS

 

Kendra Allen is the author of essay collection When You Learn The Alphabet, winner of the 2018 Iowa Prize for Literary Nonfiction for University of Iowa Press. Born and raised in Dallas, TX, Kendra exists as an MFA candidate at the University of Alabama where she is working on her thesis and leading freshman students astray. You can find other works from her in brevity, december, and The Rumpus among others.

I always recommend Sons of Achilles by Nabila Lovelace, a poetry collection, and What About the Rest of Your Life by Sung Yim, a memoir. They're both just really good books. My list in general is just building and building though. I'm currently reading a lot of short stories by Alice Walker and Toni Cade Bambara, particularly In Love & Trouble and Gorilla, My Love. I also have In The Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado to get into and an unprecedented amount of poetry from Faylita Hicks, Donika Kelly, and Xandria Phillips that I can't wait to read.

 

WRITING PROMPTS

  •     What do you remember about your birth?
  •     Write about a time when blood spilled.
  •     How do you love yourself with the mask on/when the mask is off?

 

Choose one (or all) of these prompts, set a word limit for yourself, and see what happens.

You can try these prompts in poetry, fiction or nonfiction. You can even try mixing and matching between the genres!