Hello, everyone! It’s March 21, and that means we have just ten days left until April. We’re getting close to NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo now!
As you gear up for April, remember that NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo isn’t the only thing going on! April is National Poetry Month, and there are a lot of ways to celebrate. You can sign up to receive a poem each day by email from the Academy of American Poets, or plan to participate in their Poem in Your Pocket Day event on April 27th. If you happen to be in New York City, you can drop in to a National Poetry Month book exhibition at the Brooklyn Public Library. You could check out poetry festivals in Miami, New Orleans, and Boston. Attend a poetry reading in your area! Can’t find one? Maybe you should organize one — find a local coffee shop or bar and put together an open mic.
Or maybe you could just write 30 poems (hee).
We’ll be back on the 29th for our three-day countdown to NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo, with more resources and an early-bird prompt. In the meantime, if you’d like us to link to a website where you’ll be posting your work, you can submit the web address using the “Submit Your Site” feature above. And you can always follow our prompts and other posts on Facebook and on Twitter (@napowrimo2017).
Hello, everyone! Is it March 15 already? We’ve got just over two weeks left until April 1 and the start of NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo.
To help you get in the mood for our upcoming month-long sprint of poetry writing, why not peruse Poetry International? The site contains a wealth of information on poets from all over the world. You can find many poems in both their original languages and in English translation, and can search by country, language, poet, or even poem. I’ve spent many pleasant hours hopping from one country to the next, one poet to the next, learning about global poetry movements, styles, and finding new favorite poets as well.
We’ll have some other poetry resources to share with you as March winds down, and we start gearing up for April in earnest. In the meantime, please remember that you can follow our prompts and other posts on Facebook and on Twitter (@napowrimo2017).
Hello, everyone! There’s a little more than three weeks left until NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo 2017 begins! I hope you are getting your pencils and, er, your keyboards, sharpened.
If you’ll be posting your poetry-writing efforts to a blog or other website this year, please go ahead and send us the URL through the “Submit Your Site” link above, so that we can link to it.
Throughout March, as we all prepare for our monthlong stint of poetry writing, we’ll be posting occasional links to resources to help get you in the mood. Today we invite you to check out the poetry and prose at that Center for the Art of Translation, where you will find English versions of work originally written in other languages.
It’s March 1, and you know what that means! There’s just one month to go until National Poetry Writing Month (or, for our international participants, Global Poetry Writing Month).
If it’s your first time here, welcome! The FAQ will give you the details, but in brief, this site provides encouragement, support, and community for people who want to try to write a poem a day for the month of April. Each day during April, we’ll post an (optional) prompt to help get your creative juices flowing! We’ll also feature a participant each day, provide a bonus poetry-related feature daily — this year, we’ll be linking to interviews with poets — and, if you’ll be posting your poems to a website of some kind, we’ll link to that website. Just use the “Submit Your Site” form.
If you’re an old hand at NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo, welcome back! Our site submission form is back up, and waiting for your links.
As we get closer to April 1, we’ll be checking in weekly (and in the last week, more like daily) with poetry-related links, updates, and general cheerleading. You can also follow our prompts and other posts on Facebook and on Twitter (@napowrimo2017).
In the meantime, if you have questions, comments, or ideas for prompts, please email us at napowrimonet-AT-gmail-com.
Another NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo has come and gone! But I would be remiss in closing the year out without featuring a participant for Day 30. For our final prompt, we’re featuring Kavyastream, where the final poem is a ghazal translated from Urdu!
I’m hoping to redesign the website for next year. If there are additional features you’d like, or if you have ideas for ways to improve what we already have, please let me know at napowrimonet-AT-gmail-DOT-com. I can’t promise to incorporate every idea, but I can promise to take them all seriously.
Thank you to all who have reached out to me to to say that you found the prompts helpful, and enjoyed learning about poets from around the globe through our focus on poets in translation. It’s always great to hear from those who have found NaPoWriMo useful, interesting, or just plain, old fun.
I’ll be leaving the participants list up for a while, so feel free to browse through the list of your fellow poets. And whether you completed this year’s challenge or not, I hope to see you next year!
We’ve made it, everyone! Today is the last day of NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo 2016! Congratulations to everyone who had made it through the month. And if you didn’t get all the way to thirty poems, don’t worry! You can always play catch-up, or try again in 2017.
I’ll be keeping the participants list up for a while, but I’m also planning to do a redesign of the website for 2017. If you have ideas on how to make the site more user-friendly and useful overall, please drop me a line at napowrimo-AT-gmail-DOT-com!
Our final featured participant is My Own Garden of Verse, where the “I remember” poem for Day 29 catalogs a host of sensory memories.
And now for our last poet in translation, Mexico’s Dolores Dorantes. Now living in the United States, Dorantes spent twenty-five years in Ciudad Juarez, and her poems interrogate the intersection between violence and gender. You can find a number of her poems at the link above, and bilingual editions of several of her books are available, including sexoPUROsexoVELOZ//Septiembre, Style, and her collaboration with Rodrigo Flores Sanchez, INTERVENIR/INTERVENE.
And now our prompt (still optional!) Because we’ve spent our month looking at poets in English translation, today I’d like you to try your hand at a translation of your own. If you know a foreign language, you could take a crack at translating a poem by a poet writing in that language. If you don’t know a foreign language, or are up for a different kind of challenge, you could try a homophonic translation. Simply find a poem (or other text) in a language you don’t know, and then “translate” it based on the look or sound of the words. Stuck for a poem to translate? Why not try this one by Nobel Laureate Wislawa Szymborska? Or here’s one by another Laureate, Tomas Transtromer. Happy writing!
Just one day left in NaPoWriMo and GloPoWriMo!
Our featured participant is undercaws, where the backwards-story poem for Day 28 tells the tale of an unsettling encounter with a neighbor.
Today’s poet in translation is Haiti’s Frank Etienne. Unfortunately, there’s very little Haitian poetry available in English translation, and even though Etienne is one of Haiti’s best-known writers (he is a playwright, novelist, and artist, as well as a poet), the same is true for him. Still, you can read his poem “Dialect of Hurricanes” here, and check out a New York Times profile of Etienne here.
And now for our prompt (optional, as always). Poet and artist Joe Brainard is probably best remembers for his book-length poem/memoir, I Remember. The book consists of a series of statements, all beginning with the phrase “I remember.” Here are a few examples:
I remember the only time I ever saw my mother cry. I was eating apricot pie.
I remember how much I cried seeing South Pacific (the movie) three times.
I remember how good a glass of water can taste after a dish of ice cream.
The specific, sometimes mundane and sometimes zany details of the things Brainard remembers builds up over the course of the book, until you have a good deal of empathy and sympathy for this somewhat odd person that you really feel you’ve gotten to know.
Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem based on things you remember. Try to focus on specific details, and don’t worry about whether the memories are of important events, or are connected to each other. You could start by adopting Brainard’s uniform habit of starting every line with “I remember,” and then you could either cut out all the instances of “I remember,” or leave them all in, or leave just a few in. At any rate, hopefully you’ll wind up with a poem that is heavy on concrete detail, and which uses that detail as its connective tissue. Happy writing!
Happy 28th! Day of NaPoWriMo and GloPoWriMo, everyone. Including today, we’ve just got three days left. If you’ve kept up all this time – kudos!
Our featured participant today is erbiage, where the long-lined poem for Day 27 is a wonderfully claustrophobic account of a data center.
Today’s poet in translation is Brazil’s Marcio-Andre, who is also a visual and sound artist. The lines of his poems are spaced across the page, forcing the reader’s eye to jump restlessly from place to place, while providing a visual sense of airy openness. You can find fourteen of his poems at the link above.
And now, for our prompt (optional, as always). Today I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that tells a story. But here’s the twist – the story should be told backwards. The first line should say what happened last, and work its way through the past until you get to the beginning. Now, the story doesn’t have to be complicated (it’s probably better if it isn’t)! Here’s a little example I just made up:
The Story of a Day
She lay her head down on the table.
She climbed the stairs to her room and sat down.
The afternoon of the boarding house was cool and dusty.
She walked home slowly, watching the sun settle on brick walls and half-kept gardens.
Work lasted many hours. Office lights buzzing with a faint, mad hum.
Breakfast was a small miracle.
She thought it a wonder, as always, that she’d woken up at all.
Well, that’s kind of unsettling! But I think it works as a poem. Maybe you’ll have better luck working backwards toward a happy beginning. Happy writing!
Welcome back, all, for the 27th Day of NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo.
Today’s featured participant is Quest for Whirled Peas, where the call-and-response poem for Day 26 turned into a meditation on time!
Our poet in translation for Day 27 is Peru’s Luis Herndandez, whose selected poems, The School of Solitude, was recently published in English translation. His poems – often funny, and as often equally sad, were mostly written by hand in notebooks that he gave away to friends and even to strangers. Here’s one example that falls on the funny side of the equation, and five more can be found here. You can also look at images of the original notebooks here.
Finally, our prompt (optional, as always!) Today’s prompt comes to us from Megan Pattie, who points us to the work of the Irish poet Ciaran Carson, who increasingly writes using very long lines. Carson has stated that his lines are (partly) based on the seventeen syllables of the haiku, and that he strives to achieve the clarity of the haiku in each line. So today, Megan and I collectively challenge you to write a poem with very long lines. You can aim for seventeen syllables, but that’s just a rough guide. If you’re having trouble buying into the concept of long lines, maybe this essay on Whitman’s infamously leggy verse will convince you of their merits. Happy writing!
Hello, everyone, and welcome back for the 26th day of NaPoWriMo and GloPoWriMo. Just a few days left to go!
Our featured participant for Day 26 is Writing Rochdale, where the poem for Day 25 takes its inspiration from Daniel Defoe.
Today’s poet in translation is the Netherlands’ Maarten van der Graaff, a very young poet who won the C. Buddingh’ Prize for the best Dutch-language debut collection in 2014, for his book Getawaycarpoems. He writes glossy, glassy, “beat”-like poems are filled with references to the internet and technological and dissociative aspects of contemporary life. Five of his poems can be found at the link above.
And last, but not least, our prompt (optional, as always). Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that incorporates a call and response. Calls-and-responses are used in many sermons and hymns (and also in sea chanties!), in which the preacher or singer asks a question or makes an exclamation, and the audience responds with a specific, pre-determined response. (Think: Can I get an amen?, to which the response is AMEN!.). You might think of the response as a sort of refrain or chorus that comes up repeatedly, while the call can vary slightly each time it is used. Here’s a sea chanty example:
Haul on the bowline, our bully ship’s a rolling,
Haul on the bowline, the bowline Haul!
Haul on the bowline, Kitty is my darlin’,
Haul on the bowline, the bowline Haul!
Haul on the bowline, Kitty lives in Liverpool,
Haul on the bowline, the bowline Haul!
The call can be longer than the response, or vice versa. But think of your poem as an interactive exchange between one main speaker and an audience. Happy writing!