21 The Bop: Creative Writing Exercise

Authors: Anastacia-Reneé, Mary Beth Cancienne, DaMaris B. Hill, McKinley E. Melton

Target Group: All Ages

Warm up – create a playlist for the week

  • Tell me more: What’s your modality (Pandora, Spotify, Vinyl, Mix Tape, YouTube, etc.)?
  • What is informing your playlist? (emotion, memory, current events)
  • Invite students to pair/share some of the standouts from their playlist; are there overlaps? Songs that are in conversation with one another?


  • Choose one of your favorite songs from the playlist (one that you know the lyrics to), and add an additional two lines of lyrics.

Explain the “Bop” form


  • Direct students to write a bop using the lyrics from music on their playlist.

Group Closing Discussion

  • What did you learn from this exercise?
  • What challenged you? What excited you?
  • What can you take from this exercise and direct toward other creative efforts?

Supplemental Readings

  • Dawn Lundy Martin and Adam Fitzgerald – “On the Black Avant-garde, Trigger Warnings, and Life in East Hampton”
  • Evie Shockley – “Race, Experiments, and the Black Avant-Garde” (Furious Flower 2019, pp. 69-82)
  • Meta DuEwa Jones – “The String of Grace: Renovating New Rhythms in the Present-Future of Black Poetry and Music” (Furious Flower 2019, pp. 213-230)


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The Furious Flower Syllabus Project: Opening the World of Black Poetry Copyright © 2024 by Anastacia-Reneé; allia abdullah-matta; Ariana Benson; Mary Beth Cancienne; Teri Ellen Cross Davis; Shameka Cunningham; Hayes Davis; Tyree Daye; Angel C. Dye; Brian Hannon; T.J. Hendrix; DaMaris B. Hill; Meta DuEwa Jones; Shauna M. Morgan; Adrienne Danyelle Oliver; Leona Sevick; James Smethurst; Dana A. Williams; L. Lamar Wilson; Carmin Wong; Dave Wooley; and Joanne V. Gabbin (preface) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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