Sylvia Plath Workshop

Sylvia Plath Workshop Prompts from Sunday 28th September put together by Anna Percy with a bee contribution from Becca Audra, prior to the Stirred Poetry Performance night on Monday 29th which is themed: Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton. You can find the Anne Sexton workshop prompts here.

Create a plath word/image hoard of all remembered poetic images, poem subjects, motifs. Timed writing for five minutes creating a poem/prose piece from the hoard, ie: use all these words in a poem: mirror, pebble, lake, bees, poppies, moon, etc


Sylvia Plath Word/Image Hoard

Free Writing: Write without stopping or pausing to edit while listening to Sylvia Plath reading, you can incorporate words from her reading if you get stuck. Five minute timer.

Read ‘The arrival of the bee box’. Think about your attachment to bees. Think about what would happen if you had a box of bees come to your house and you opened it up. Write a poem to respond to how you’d react, what noises you would notice. First line to write from if stuck: ‘It is the noise that appalls me most of all’

Plath has written best about unease of the mind often inserting unexpected descriptions and words. In mirror ‘’in me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman/rise toward her day after day, like a terrible fish’’ Her nature poems often feature human/bodily concerns and startling imagery, write a nature poem that shocks. Poppies in July ‘’if my mouth could marry a hurt like that’’, Winter Trees ‘’knowing neither abortions nor bitchery’’. Link your natural symbol to inner anxiety, you can use flowers, trees, fish, ladybirds of which there were a lot around today…

Free write from the ending of Lady Lazarus, the below phrase is your first line. Five words to include from the poem: subversion, telephone, stasis, bastardies, sulphurous. 

‘Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair   
And I eat men like air.’

Write us your moon poem. Tell us your relationship with the moon.

Let us know if any of these prompts have been useful for you as we love to know what is working! Feel free to bring and read them at a Stirred.


The Stirred quad is formed of Rebecca Audra Smith, Anna Percy, Jasmine Chatfield and Lenni Sanders.

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Posted in Anna Percy, Events, Feminist thinking
One comment on “Sylvia Plath Workshop
  1. […] Sylvia Plath workshop prompts can be found here. From all our free writing we each pulled a line to make a group […]

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The Stirred team at Reclaim the Night Manchester 2015
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