5 Poetry Prompts for Women’s Equality Day

Women’s Equality Day was originally established to commemorate the Nineteenth Amendment’s passage, which effectively granted white women the right to vote. As we recognize this holiday and contend with its racist history, we must advocate for intersectional change moving forward. 


If you’re a poet, you can contribute to this crucial conversation through your writing. To inspire your poems, we’ve created a few poetry prompts dedicated to Women’s Equality Day.


Create an acrostic EQUALITY poem


Write an acrostic EQUALITY poem, starting each line with the appropriately corresponding letter. This form provides you with a structure to follow while driving home the EQUALITY theme. Ask yourself: what does equality mean to you? Explore this question–– both on a micro and macro level –– by exploring equality within relationships, at your workplace, or in larger social systems. 


Write an ode to an influential woman poet who advocated for equality


As a poet, you likely find inspiration from influential writers. In a poem, write an ode to a woman poet who has advocated for social change. If the woman has passed, imagine what her experience as a vocal woman writer might have been like at different points in history, or more accurately, herstory. What space did she create for other modern women poets today? How should we honor those who came before us?


Co-write an equality poem with another woman


True equality can only be achieved when women support one another. To encourage collaboration over competition, co-write an equality poem with another woman. Structure the poem as a conversation, both of you discussing your varying perspectives, frustrations, and hopes regarding building a more progressive society. If you both live near one another and frequent open mics, consider performing together! You never know what women you might inspire to embrace their unique voice. 


In a poem, consider what a truly equal world would look like


Imagination is key to creating a more inclusive world. In a poem, imagine what a truly equal world would look like. Consider race, class, gender, and other identities that are marginalized. As you write, focus on rich imagery, which will make the society you are describing seem more real, and therefore, possible to achieve. Engage the senses, illustrating what you see, hear, and smell. What types of stories do you see on the news? What do natural landscapes, towns, or cities look like? What conversations among passersby do you hear? 


Explore voting rights in a poem


Protecting voting rights is critical to advancing a more equal and inclusive society. To inform your writing, research the status of voting rights in your state. What intersectional challenges or barriers might folks face at the ballot box? Or, in a poem, explore the feeling of casting a vote for a candidate who aligns with your values of equality. 

Hopefully, these prompts inspire you to use your writing gift as a force for good. For even more feminist writing inspiration, check out these six electrifying poems for women’s empowerment.