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Find Your Inner Poet with a Trash Can Poem

Ideas for poems can come from unlikely fact, you might have the beginnings of your very own poem already. It might be buried in a journal entry, a phone note, or even a social media post you made way back when that just stuck with you. These “throwaway” lines are poetic treasures hiding out as random thoughts, and we’re going to show you what to do with them. 

Rain, an Award-winning Slam Poet and Alley Theatre Teaching Artist, walks you through an exercise to create a Trash Can Poem. Grab a throwaway line and get inspired!


In three easy steps you will be able to write your Trash Can Poem:

  1. Gather (or create) your writings from throwaway lines.

  2. Experiment with the structure to find your beginning, middle, and end.

  3. Spice up your poem with lots of details.

Want a Little Extra Help? 

Check out these videos to dust off those poetic devices your English teacher probably mentioned at some point or another. 

Share your poem with us @alleytheatre on social media and use the hashtag #trashcanpoem.


Meet the Artist

RAIN is a published author, national slam poet/spoken word artist, playwright, and actress. She has written several poetry-based commercials for KHOU Channel 11; her most recent one for their “HOPE after HARVEY" Campaign. Her most notable accolade is a Super Bowl commercial that she performed which also earned airtime during the GRAMMY's. This poem won the 2016 Eye on Excellence Award as well as a nomination for the Lone Star State Emmys. Over the last 8 years, she has performed in various venues locally and state to state and has held lead roles in various plays. She’s very active in the community as an artist, host, and promoter where The Houston Chronicle reviewed her as one of Houston's most talented artists. She currently attends the University of Houston where she's majoring in Mass Communication. 

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