What’s the Skinny? Writing Skinny Poems

If you haven’t written a Skinny poem before, you are in for a real treat! This poetic form was created by Truth Thomas in the Tony Medina Poetry Workshop at Howard University in 2005.

A Skinny has 11 lines. Lines 1 and 11 can be any length but are the exact same words (though you can rearrange the order if you’d like). Lines 2, 6, and 10 are identical. All lines except 1 and 11 are ONE WORD ONLY. The poems can remain alone or they can be linked together to create a longer poem. Skinnys can be about any subject but generally reflect serious concerns facing humankind.


This is one of my Skinnys from a project I’m currently working on. 

Now it’s your turn

Once you start writing Skinnys, you’ll be hooked! I’d love for you to share your poems in the comments below. If you are “iffy” about sharing your work, here’s a pep talk! 🙂 And, as always, thank you for popping in!

4 thoughts on “What’s the Skinny? Writing Skinny Poems

  1. When you milk a cow,
    Ice cream
    When you milk a cow.

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