DotWrite21 Prompt: Week 21

A project Danny worked on with Jules Lattimer in Dr. Bertram’s “Beyond Genre” seminar in conjunction with @acontainerco

Our final #DotWrite21 prompt comes from Danny Elfanbaum, alum of the UMass Boston MFA program for Fiction and a former coordinator of Write on the DOT. Danny writes:

Pods, Containers, and Boxes

There’s that old workshop saying that “a story [or poem] is a container,” and a few of the writers and artists who’ve worked on the upcoming issue of Response have pointed out that right now a lot of our lives are “contained” in various ways: the constraints of our COVID pods, the squares and boxes of our social media feeds and Zoom calls and classes, our attempts (and magnificent failures) as a city/state/country to try and “contain” the virus. 

Pick a physical container — a meaningful one or whatever’s closest at hand — and write into the container.

How can you squeeze, smash, condense, transmute, distill, evaporate, translate, or otherwise fit what you’ve been experiencing in the last year into your chosen container. What kinds of constraints does your container provide? Is it one of space? Shape? Material?

For example, how might you fit your experience into a diagram or Zoom grid, or what might it look like in a vase meant for flowers (and where have the flowers gone?!), or is there a safety deposit box where you’re storing all the hopes and dreams for your life post-COVID?

As always, Write on the DOT invites anyone who participates in the #DotWrite21 prompts to share their work. Tag us on social media, or email us at for the chance to be featured on our blog.


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