Poetry-Themed Game Inspiration for Your Next Gathering

If you’re looking to spice up your holiday gatherings this year, why not host a poetry-themed game night? Whether you design your own game or purchase a pre-made one, poetry is a broad genre that provides countless game possibilities. To inspire you, we’ve compiled some tips and game examples with a poetic twist.


Consider your theme


As you begin designing your game, first consider the theme. Would you like to focus on one sub-genre, such as modern, transcendentalist, or beat? Or maybe you’d prefer holiday-inspired poems from all types of poetry in honor of the season. 


Research relevant poets and poems, compiling this information in a Word or Google document for easy access. As you research, consider: what are a few personal, interesting facts about each poet? When and where did they write specific poems? In what ways did their work influence the genre? Conversely, what poets influenced their work?


Choose a structure


Once you’ve chosen a theme and compiled research, you can choose a structure for your game. Draw inspiration from traditional games like trivia or a matching game. 


Before deciding, take into account the number of participants at your gathering. Are there enough guests to divide into multiple teams? If so, trivia is an appropriate option, allowing you to easily apply your research. Decide how many questions should be included in the game, considering your gathering’s timeframe. Next, choose a time amount for participants to answer questions, using the timer on your phone, for example. Or, add a more traditional game element by using an hourglass to keep time. If your gathering is small with a few poetry enthusiasts, on the other hand, a matching game, either poem to poet or poem to title, is a fun way to connect and pass the time.


Gather your materials


Next, gather materials to create your game. Although you can handwrite on paper for your game’s pieces, printing on cardstock is a more time-efficient option. As you create, have fun with design, keeping in mind your game’s themes. If you’re exploring nature poetry, for example, choose earthy colors like browns and greens. For graphic design novices, create these pieces in a Word document or on a versatile design platform like Canva. 


Purchase a pre-made game, like Haikubes


If DIY isn’t your thing, purchase a pre-made game. Haikubes, designed by Forrest-Pruzan Creative, for example, is a whimsical dice game, with words printed on each side of the cubes (i.e. Haikubes). Participants roll the dice and craft a haiku using the displayed words. The versatility and non-competitive nature of Haikubes allows you to both play the game with others and by yourself. Plus, if you’re a poet, Haikubes can help you find creative inspiration while expanding your word choice repertoire.  


As you plan your game gatherings, don’t forget to provide snacks and beverages! For inspiration, check out our blog on poetry-themed appetizers.