Well, everyone — it’s finally here. Today is the last day of NaPoWriMo. We had over 1500 participants this year, a very good turnout indeed. I hope you’ve enjoyed the challenge and if you didn’t quite make it to 30 poems this year, no worries. NaPoWriMo will be back next year!
But for now, let’s meet our final featured press: Ahsahta, which published NaPoWriMo’er Kirsten Kaschock’s first book, A Beautiful Name for a Girl, back in 2011. The press has published many wonderful books over the years, and reads book manuscripts for its Sawtooth Prize in January-March of each year, and also occasionally has open reading periods. Right now (and I mean, really right now), the press is reading chapbook manuscripts — today is the last day to submit, so if you have something you feel is ready to go out into the world, why not send it their way?
And our featured participant for Day 30 is Jennifer Liston. I love the playfulness of these poems!
And now for our final (yet still optional!) prompt. Today, as befits the final poem of NaPoWriMo, I challenge you to write a poem of farewell. It doesn’t have to be goodbye forever — like I said, NaPoWriMo will be back again next year. If you need a little inspiration, you might find some in perusing this selection of goodbye-and-good-luck poems from the Poetry Foundation website.
Happy writing, everyone, and good-bye, and see you next year!
Hello, everyone, and welcome back for Day 29. I can’t believe tomorrow’s the last day of NaPoWriMo 2014.
Today’s featured participant is Rhythms Nest. I kind of have a thing for erasure poems, and this poet shows us both the original and the erased text. Very cool!
And now our prompt (optional, as always). This may remind you a bit of the “New York School” recipe, but this prompt has been around for a long time. I remember using it in a college poetry class, and loving the result. It really forces you into details, and to work on “conducting” the poem as it grows, instead of trying to force the poem to be one thing or another in particular. The prompt is called the “Twenty Little Poetry Projects,” and was originally developed by Jim Simmerman. And here are the twenty little projects themselves — the challenge is to use them all in one poem:
1. Begin the poem with a metaphor.
2. Say something specific but utterly preposterous.
3. Use at least one image for each of the five senses, either in succession or scattered randomly throughout the poem.
4. Use one example of synesthesia (mixing the senses).
5. Use the proper name of a person and the proper name of a place.
6. Contradict something you said earlier in the poem.
7. Change direction or digress from the last thing you said.
8. Use a word (slang?) you’ve never seen in a poem.
9. Use an example of false cause-effect logic.
10. Use a piece of talk you’ve actually heard (preferably in dialect and/or which you don’t understand).
11. Create a metaphor using the following construction: “The (adjective) (concrete noun) of (abstract noun) . . .”
12. Use an image in such a way as to reverse its usual associative qualities.
13. Make the persona or character in the poem do something he or she could not do in “real life.”
14. Refer to yourself by nickname and in the third person.
15. Write in the future tense, such that part of the poem seems to be a prediction.
16. Modify a noun with an unlikely adjective.
17. Make a declarative assertion that sounds convincing but that finally makes no sense.
18. Use a phrase from a language other than English.
19. Make a non-human object say or do something human (personification).
20. Close the poem with a vivid image that makes no statement, but that “echoes” an image from earlier in the poem.
Hello, everyone! Today begins our three-day countdown until the end of NaPoWriMo. I hope you’ve enjoyed your April!
Today’s featured journal is CSHS Quarterly, which is helmed by NaPoWriMo-ers Joseph Harker and Tessa Racked. The journal is just about to publish its second issue and is currently reading for its third. There’s only two days left in NaPoWriMo now, so if you have a journal you’d like me to feature, please let me know at napowrimonet-AT-gmail-DOT-com.
Today’s featured poet is Salon Z, where you will find carefully observed details and wonderful images, like “permitting her /
to chase the random / fox thought/ down the escalator.”
And now our (optional) prompt. Today I challenge you to find a news article, and to write a poem using (mostly, if not only) words from the article! You can repeat them, splice them, and rearrange them however you like. Although the vocabulary may be “just the facts,” your poem doesn’t have to be — it doesn’t even have to be about the subject of the news article itself. Happy writing!
Hello all, and welcome back for Day 27 of NaPoWriMo.
Our featured journal today is Literary Orphans, which has published NaPoWriMo-er Charlotte Hamrick. Literary Orphans publishes fiction and non-fiction in addition to poetry, for those of you who are multi-genre writers. Submissions are open year-round.
Our featured participant for Day 27 is katscratching, where the poems display a wry, somewhat mordant, sense of humor, and a multiplicity of lengths and forms.
And now for our prompt! Our early-bird prompt this year (on March 31) was an ekphrastic poem. This is something similar — a poem written from a photograph. There are four below, one of which I hope will catch your fancy. But if you’ve a particular photo in mind that you’d like to use, go right ahead. Happy writing!
Happy last Saturday of NaPoWriMo, everyone.
Our featured journal for the day is Parcel, which will soon publish NaPoWriMo-er Rachel West. Parcel is just lovely-looking, and I’m quite please to make its acquaintance. Turns out some of my favorite poets have been published there, so I just ordered a subscription. And . . . they take submissions year-round.
Today’s featured participant is simple slanting bones, which has some lovely erasure poems, and a great (and appropriately themed) lune from Day 22.
Now for our prompt (optional, as always). Today’s prompt comes to us from Vince Gotera, who wrote his “family member” poem for Day 20 in the form of a curtal sonnet. As Vince explains, the curtal sonnet is shorter than the normal, fourteen line sonnet. Instead it has a first stanza of six lines, followed by a second stanza of four, and then closes with a half-line. The form was invented in the 1800s by Gerard Manley Hopkins, who used it in his famous poem “Pied Beauty”. So for today, I challenge you to give the curtal sonnet a whirl. It doesn’t need to rhyme — though it can if you like — and feel free to branch out beyond iambic pentameter. Happy writing!
Hello, all. This is our final Friday in NaPoWriMo . . . just a few more days to go!
Today’s featured journal is Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, which has published NaPoWriMo-er Vinita Agrawal. Cha focuses on work from and/or about Asia, and is currently accepting submissions for its September 2014 issue.
Today’s featured participant is Retirement Legs, who really got into the spirit of yesterday’s masonry prompt!
And now for our (optional) prompt. Anaphora is a literary term for the practice of repeating certain words or phrases at the beginning of multiple clauses or, in the case of a poem, multiple lines. The phrase “A time to,” as used in the third Chapter of Ecclesiastes, is a good example of anaphora. But you don’t have to be the Old Testament (or a Byrds song) to use anaphora. Allen Ginsberg used it in Howl, for example. This post by Rebecca Hazelton on the Poetry Foundation’s blog gives other great examples of anaphora in action, from Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech to Homer Simpson. So today, I challenge you to write a poem that uses anaphora. Find a phrase, and stick with it — learn how far it can go. Happy writing!
Hello all, and welcome back for Day 24.
Our featured participant today is Into the Headland. The catch-up poem for Day 19 (“Late for the 19th and out of sequins”) has a wonderful first line. I’ll be thinking about that image all day.
And now, our (optional, as always) prompt! Peter Roberts has been participating in NaPoWriMo for several years now at his blog, Masonry Design. He has the charming and odd distinction of having only written poems about masonry. Today, I challenge you to do the same (for one day, at least), and to write a poem that features walls, bricks, stones, arches, or the like. If that sounds a bit hard, remember that one of Robert Frost’s most famous poems was about a wall. Happy writing!
It’s Day 23, everyone. After today, there’s just seven days left to NaPoWriMo!
Today’s featured participant is Gloria D. Gonsalves, whose children’s poem for Day 22 has a lovely kind of off-kilter-ness to it, which recreates the sort of determined but not always logical progression of childhood thoughts.
Our featured journal today is Metazen, which has published NaPoWriMo-er Kevin Sampsell. Metazen publishes new work daily, so submissions are always open. You can check out the submission guidelines here.
Today’s prompt (optional, as always), is an oldie-but-a-goodie: the homophonic translation. Find a poem in a language you don’t know, and translate it into English based on the look of the words and their sounds. For example, here are three lines from a poem by the Serbian poet Vasko Popa:
Posle radnog vremena
Radnici su umorni
Jedva cekaju da stignu u barake
I might translate this into English as
Post-grad eggnog, ramen noodles.
Nikki in the morning,
jacket just stuck with brakes.
That doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it does give me some new words and ideas to play with. Happy writing!
Welcome back, everyone, for Day 22!
Our featured participant for Day 22 is Freckled Writer, whose poem for Day 18 contains some good, bad, and indifferent advice for women and girls, including “You can prevent most problems/ by worrying about them/ before they happen.” I have, unfortunately, been attempting to prevent problems like that since I was born.
And now for our (optional) prompt! Today, I challenge you to write a poem for children. This could be in the style of a nursery rhyme, or take a cue from Edward Lear or Shel Silverstein. It could rhyme — or not. It could be short — or not. Happy writing!
It’s Day 21 — we’re three weeks into NaPoWriMo now.
Our featured participant for Day 21 is Voiceless Fricative, who really went to town on incorporating wacky seashell names into her poem for Day 19.
Today’s prompt is to write a “New York School” poem using the recipe found here. The New York School is the name by which a group of poets that all lived in New York in the 1950s and 1960s. The most well-known members are Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, and Kenneth Koch. Their poems are actually very different from one another, but many “New York School” poems display a sort of conversational tone, references to friends and to places in and around New York, humor, inclusion of pop culture, and a sense of the importance of art (visual, poetic, and otherwise). Here’s a fairly representative example.
In following the recipe, you can include as many (or as few) of the listed elements as you wish. Happy writing!