The soothsayer told Caesar to beware the ides of March, but hopefully, the only thing you need to be aware of today is that there’s just half a month left until April 1, and the start of Na/GloPoWriMo.
Thanks to everyone who has submitted links to the sites where they’ll be posting work this year – keep ‘em coming! And if you aren’t planning to post work online this year, that’s no problem! Our (optional) prompts, resources, etcetera work just as well offline as on.
And without further ado, here’s our craft resource for the week! Over the past few years, Graywolf has published a series of writing guides/books entitled The Art of the . . . . So far the series has books on The Art of the Line, The Art of Syntax, etc. Last summer, while wandering the aisles of a bookstore, I happened upon one of the entries in the series, Mark Doty’s The Art of Description. The book consists of a series of close readings of the descriptive word choices in poems, and I found it extremely illuminating and helpful in re-orienting me away from some lazy habits I’d fallen into in writing. One of the essays from the book, a close reading of Elizabeth Bishop’s The Fish, is available online here. I hope you enjoy it!
When we come back next week, there will only be a little over a week left until April 1. Time to start sharpening your pencils and, er, keyboards. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please let us know at napowrimonet AT gmail DOT com.
Hello, everyone! We’re another week closer to the beginning of April, and the challenge of writing a poem every day for that most cruel and creative of months.
Our site submission form is up and working, and many of you have already begun to submit links to websites where you’ll be posting work. And remember – if you aren’t planning to post your work online, that’s okay, too!
And now for a new craft resource. If you’ve ever taken a poetry class, there’s a good chance that you were assigned Richard Hugo’s book, The Triggering Town. Hugo’s essays on writing poetry have helped students and non-students alike figure out one of the hardest things about poetry – what do you write about, and how do you do it genuinely and authentically? The Poetry Society of America has the title essay of his book online. You can find it here. If you’ve never read it before, I hope you find it helpful. And if you have read it, you may enjoy revisiting it, as I did.
We’ll be back next week with another resource! In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact us at napowrimonet AT gmail DOT com.
Hello, all. It’s March 1, and that means that April is right around the corner, bringing lilacs, spring rains, and National/Global Poetry Writing Month! What is NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo? It’s your chance to stretch your poetry muscles by writing a poem a day for the month of April.
We’ve cleared out our list of participating websites for 2017, so if you’ll be posting your efforts to a blog or other internet space this year, you can go ahead and start submitting those links through our handy “Submit Your Site” form. We’ve also updated our search features, so you’ll be able to search for sites by name. [UPDATE: Thanks to those of you who pointed out bug in the Captcha plug-in in the submission form. We’ve fixed that issue, so let the submissions begin!]
And if you’re not planning to post your work online? No worries! Na/GloPoWriMo doesn’t require that at all. All you have to day is write a poem a day for April.
In previous years, we’ve featured a daily prompt, a participant, and provided you with some poetry-related information of general interest, such as links to new journals, etc. This year is no different. In addition to our (optional, as always) prompts and links to participants’ work, we’re going to be featuring brief interviews with poets who have new books out or forthcoming, interspersed with links to poetry craft resources.
And here’s our first craft resource, to whet your appetite. When I was a wee baby poet, my parents took notice of my interest with some bemusement, but as supportive parents do, they took themselves to a local bookstore and asked its proprietor what kind of book would be good for someone trying to write. That long-lost peddler of tomes pointed them toward Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones. The book is pep-talky, accessible, and a little bit southwestern zen – it was quite the oddity for a teenager in a military town in the early 90s. But the book’s ethos of getting stuff down on paper without worrying, at least at first, about whether it or you are “good enough” really resonated with me, and is definitely something that informs our attitude here! Interested in learning more? Here’s an interview with Goldberg on the occasion of her book’s thirtieth anniversary, and appreciations of the book by Jennifer Ellis and Yvonne Spence.
We’ll be back next week with another resource for you, as we build up to our count-down to April 1! And if you have questions in the meantime, please contact us at napowrimonet AT gmail DOT com.
Well, everyone, another NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo has come and gone. I hope you enjoyed the challenge, and even if you didn’t get all the way to 30 poems, that you had fun along the way! I also hope you’re ready for NaPoReMo/GloPoReMo, or National/Global Poetry Revision Month (just kidding).
We have one last featured participant for the year: When the Dogs Bite, where the repetition poem for Day 30 is about a panoply of dogs on their daily walk.
Thanks, as always, to everyone who signed up, everyone who commented, sent encouraging notes, and gave their time to writing as part of NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo. This project wouldn’t exist without you!
I will leave the list of participants up until we being our housecleaning in anticipating of NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo 2018! Regardless, all of of the posts and comments will remain available.
Thanks for playing along, and see you next year!
Well, everyone, we all knew it was coming . . . today is the thirtieth of April, and the final day of NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo 2017. I hope all of you had fun, and that if you didn’t get 30 poems, you got at least a few!
As is usual, I’ll be back tomorrow with our final featured participant. I’ll also keep the participants’ list up and live until we start to get the site ready for next year, when we’ll go “dark” for a bit of annual housekeeping. And of course, all this year’s posts and comments will remain as a permanent part of our archives.
Our featured participant for the day is Words from a Lydian World, where the favorite-word poem for Day 29 has the lyrical sense of a song, and the mysterious feeling of a fairy tale.
Today’s interview is with Cathy Park Hong, whose pop-culture-filled verse explores language, genre and place, wheeling between the American west and the tech-industrial boomtowns of Asia. You can read more about here, and you will find two of her poems here, and another here.
And finally, our final prompt – at least until next year! Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem about something that happens again and again (kind of like NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo). It could be the setting of the sun, or your Aunt Georgia telling the same story at Thanksgiving every single year. It could be the swallows returning to Capistrano or how, without fail, you will lock your keys in the car whenever you go to the beach.
Hello, everyone! It’s the penultimate day of NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo!
Our featured participant for the day is orangepeel, where the Skeltonic verse for Day 28 celebrates (sort of) the experience of being sprayed by a skunk!
Today’s interview is with another poet/publisher, Sarah Gorham, the editor-in-chief of Sarabande Books. This interview explores her dual role as writer of her own work and the promoter of others’ poetry. You can learn more about Gorham here and read some of her poetry here and here.
And now for our (optional) prompt. Today, I’d like to challenge you to take one of your favorite poems and find a very specific, concrete noun in it. For example, if your favorite poem is this verse of Emily Dickinson’s, you might choose the word “stones” or “spectre.” After you’ve chosen your word, put the original poem away and spend five minutes free-writing associations – other nouns, adjectives, etc. Then use your original word and the results of your free-writing as the building blocks for a new poem.
Welcome back, all, for the twenty-eighth day of NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo. Counting today, there’s just three days left!
Today’s featured participant is little learner, whose poem for Day 27 is all about an acquired taste!
Our interview for the day is with Kazim Ali, co-founder of Nightboat Books and author of three books of poetry. The interview we’re featuring was done when his first book, The Far Mosque was published, and provides a good look at what it is like to have a book finally out in the world. You can read more about Ali here, and read some of his work here.
And now for our prompt (optional, as always). Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem using Skeltonic verse. Don’t worry, there are no skeletons involved. Rather, Skeltonic verse gets its name from John Skelton, a fifteenth-century English poet who pioneered the use of short stanzas with irregular meter, but two strong stresses per line (otherwise know as “dipodic” or “two-footed” verse). The lines rhyme, but there’s not a rhyme scheme per se. The poet simply rhymes against one word until he or she gets bored and moves on to another. Here is a good explainer of the form, from which I have borrowed this excellent example:
will be Terse.
Stress used just twice
to keep it nice,
short or long
a lilting song
or sounding gong
that won’t go wrong
if you adhere
to the rule here,
Now is that clear
Hello, everyone, and happy twenty-seventh day of NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo.
Our featured participant today is A Thing For Words, where the archaeology poem for Day 26 imagines future scientists stumbling over the remains of a man without apologies.
Today’s interview is with the poet Sharon Olds, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for her collection Stag’s Leap, the definitive sick burn on an ex-husband (Warning to husbands: if you divorce Sharon Olds, she will write a book about it that wins the Pulitzer Prize, and everyone will know). Of course, that’s not all she’s written, but I’ll have to say that book is bracing, to say the least. You can learn more about Olds’ work here, and you can find some of her poems here, here, and many more here.
And last but not least, here’s our (optional) prompt! Many poems explore the sight or sound or feel of things, and Proust famously wrote about the memories evoked by smell, but today I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that explores your sense of taste! This could be a poem about food, or wine, or even the oddly metallic sensation of a snowflake on your tongue.
Hello, everyone! Today is the twenty-sixth day of NaPoWriMo and GloPoWriMo.
Today’s featured participant is fresh poetry, where the “poetics of space” prompt for Day 25 takes back in time to a very particular classroom, while also launching us out onto the sea.
Our interview for the day is another two-fer – the poet Melissa Range interviewed by the poet Stephen Burt about her book, Scriptorium, sonnets, and incorporating colloquialisms and slang into poetry. You can learn more about interview-er and interview-ee here and here. And you can read three of Range’s poems here, and at this link, you’ll find a lyrical essay by Burt.
And now for our (optional) prompt! Have you ever heard someone wonder what future archaeologists, whether human or from alien civilization, will make of us? Today, I’d like to challenge you to answer that question in poetic form, exploring a particular object or place from the point of view of some far-off, future scientist? The object or site of study could be anything from a “World’s Best Grandpa” coffee mug to a Pizza Hut, from a Pokemon poster to a cellphone.
Hello, all, and welcome back for the twenty-fifth day of NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo. We’re heading into the home stretch now!
Our featured participant today is Tea Parties on Neptune, where the medieval marginalia poem for Day 24 involves some peculiar rabbits!
Our interview today is with Douglas Kearney, whose poetry often involves very visual, altered typography as well as onomatopoeia – poems meant to be seen and heard out loud. You can learn more about Kearney here, and read some of his work here and here.
And now for our daily prompt (optional, as always). In 1958, the philosopher/critic Gaston Bachelard wrote a book called The Poetics of Space, about the emotional relationship that people have with particular kinds of spaces – the insides of sea shells, drawers, nooks, and all the various parts of houses. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that explores a small, defined space – it could be your childhood bedroom, or the box where you keep old photos. It could be the inside of a coin purse or the recesses of an umbrella stand. Any space will do – so long as it is small, definite, and meaningful to you.