Art + Design

How to Go on a First Date with a Poem

April is National Poetry Month. Spoken-word stars Andrea Gibson and Megan Falley believe poetry can open our minds, combat loneliness, and maybe even change the world.

In How Poetry Can Change Your Heart, they guide novices and seasoned readers alike in opening up to the magic of words. Step one? Ask poetry out on a date.


Science suggests that a series of predetermined and increasingly vulnerable questions asked between strangers can lead to love. What if you could ask yourself some questions about your connection with poetry and fall in love with the art form?

Here is a list of questions to help you get introspective about the state of your current relationship to poems and to see if you can envision a future together (Is it complicated? Are you married? Separated? “Just talking”? Ready to commit to a thirty-year mortgage?).

Read each question, pause, and take the time to answer it honestly and thoughtfully. (This is great to do with a friend or group as well. Try it out!)


Twenty-one Questions to Ask on Your First Date With Poetry

1. What were you raised to appreciate?

2. In what ways, if any, was poetry valued in the house where you grew up?

3. In what unique, amusing, or special ways did your family interact with language?

4. What is your favorite song lyric of all time?

5. If you were to explain poetry to a toddler, how would you describe it?

6. Look around. What are the five most beautiful things you see?

7. The five most heartbreaking?

8. What is a topic you could spend an easy hour talking about?

9. What in the universe are you most curious about?

10. What is the one-sentence version of your life story?

11. What is the tiniest, yet most important, detail of your life?

12. Where is the beauty in the last thing that made you cry?

13. Where was the grief hiding in your last moment of bliss?

14. Why is your favorite season your favorite season?

15. What is your favorite word and why?

16. What was the most riveting conversation you have ever had?

17. Do you remember the last time someone put words to something you couldn’t easily express?

18. What is your earliest fear, and what is your most recent?

19. Describe the last time you were awestruck.

20. If a poet were to write about one story from your life, what story would you have them tell?

21. Why don’t you tell it?


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Andrea Gibson leaped into the forefront of the spoken word poetry movement in 2008 when they won the first-ever Woman of the World Poetry Slam. Since then they have headlined prestigious performance venues all over the country and abroad, authored four collections of poetry and recorded seven full-length albums. Their poetry focuses on gender norms, politics, social reform, and the struggles of the LGBTQ community. Born in Calais, Maine, they now reside in Longmont, Colorado. Follow them at @andreagibson and @andrewgibby

Megan Falley authored four collections of poetry before she turned thirty years old. Her chapbook, Bad Girls, Honey: Poems About Lana Del Rey, was the winner of the Tired Hearts Chapbook Prize. She has appeared on national television to recite her work and is the creator of the online poetry course Poems That Don’t Suck. Focusing on body image, queer issues and celebrations, and relationships, Falley’s work is vibrant in both books and theaters. Born and raised in New York, she moved to Colorado for love. Follow her at @meganfalley and @megan_falley.

Find How Poetry Can Change Your Heart here.


We want to hear how your first date goes! Tell us your answer to prompt 15, What is your favorite word and why? Comment below for a chance to win your very own copy of How Poetry Can Change Your Heart! Giveaway ends 4/9/19 at midnight PT. USA-only.

UPDATE: The contest has ended.



Ready to take things to the next level? Read on:

Sarah Lin Go

Sarah Lin Go

Sarah handles marketing for art books and stationery at Chronicle Books. You will often find her buying too many stationery products, cracking up about everything, and snacking on Haribo gummies.
Sarah Lin Go



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