Poetry for Strangers is about finding inspiration in community, in people, in the chance encounters of everyday life. PFS suggests that every person can be a “muse” of a poem. Every week of this year I will ask a stranger for a single word and then write a poem inspired by the word. I invite you to do the same.

Share your poem on this week’s word!


I interviewed Dwayne Blackaller, Educational Director and Associate Artist at Boise Contemporary Theater, for an upcoming article in Greenbelt Magazine – and I found him so compelling, the conversation so crackling with interesting digressions, that I was curious to know what single word he would choose for a poem –

The Stranger: Dwayne

His Word: Cannibalize

The poem I wrote:

Are you being
a good animal,
the kind who
will eat any

living thing
to keep alive?
There is no

it, no waiting
for unlucky
food to fall
on your plate

like rain. I’m
teaching you
to make your

proud, to use
your bones
in epic ways.
Or are you

animal enough
to know that

breaks a person
down like being
in a body, proof

that we are no
more and no less
of an animal
than they are,

that we don’t need
to cannibalize
each other, we just

need to make
something new?


The Challenge: Do you have a poem on this word? Write one here.