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.
Welcome back, everyone, for the twenty-fourth day of NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo!
Our featured participant for the day is The Mother of Adam, where you will find not one, not two, but eleven double elevenie poems for Day 23!
Today’s interview is another two-fer, with the poet Rachel McKibbens being interviewed by the poet Jennifer L. Knox. Both McKibbens and Knox have ties to the “slam” poetry movement, which focuses on performance. McKibbens is known for her work’s direct, fierce, emotional address, while Knox’s poems often exhibit a gonzo humor that can suddenly give way to deep pathos. You can read several of McKibbens’ poems here, and examples of Knox’s work here.
Last but not least, our (optional) daily prompt. Today, I challenge you to write a poem of ekphrasis — that is, a poem inspired by a work of art. But I’d also like to challenge you to base your poem on a very particular kind of art – the marginalia of medieval manuscripts. Here you’ll find some characteristic images of rabbits hunting wolves, people sitting on nests of eggs, dogs studiously reading books, and birds wearing snail shells. What can I say? It must have gotten quite boring copying out manuscripts all day, so the monks made their own fun. Hopefully, the detritus of their daydreams will inspire you as well!
Wow! It’s hard to believe we’ve been at this for 23 whole days already. I hope you each have nearly 2 dozen poems under your belt. And if not, that’s okay too! Whether you try to catch up, or just jump back into writing now, either way works for us!
Today’s featured participant is Marilyn Rauch Cavicchia, whose georgic poem for Day 22 explains to us how (not) to grow a cabbage!
For our interview today, we’re “kicking it old school,” with T.S. Eliot being interviewed by Donald Hall. Not entirely sure who these two are? (Maybe you went into a defensive faint when asked to read “The Waste Land” in high school?) Well, here’s a little information on Eliot and Hall. You can also check out a number of Eliot’s poems (including some blessedly short ones) here, and some of Hall’s poems here.
And now for our daily prompt (optional, as always). Our prompt for Day Twenty-Three comes to us from Gloria Gonsalves, who challenges us to write a double elevenie. What’s that? Well, an elevenie is an eleven-word poem of five lines, with each line performing a specific task in the poem. The first line is one word, a noun. The second line is two words that explain what the noun in the first line does, the third line explains where the noun is in three words, the fourth line provides further explanation in four words, and the fifth line concludes with one word that sums up the feeling or result of the first line’s noun being what it is and where it is. There are some good examples in the link above.
A double elevenie would have two stanzas of five lines each, and twenty-two words in all. It might be fun to try to write your double elevenie based on two nouns that are opposites, like sun and moon, or mountain and sea.
Happy Earth Day, all, and happy twenty-second day of NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo!
Our featured participant today is Arash’s Poetry, where the overheard poem for Day 21 is a wonderful rendering of speech in a busy cafe.
Our interview today is with Kyle Dargan. Originally from New Jersey, Dargan now lives in Washington, DC, where he directs the creative writing program at American University. He is the author of four books of poetry that explore the intersection of the personal and the political, with a twist of science fiction. You can learn more about Dargan and find some of his poems here, and find an additional poem here.
Last but not least, here is our prompt for the day (optional, as always). In honor of Earth Day, I’d like to challenge you to write a georgic. The original georgic poem was written by Virgil, and while it was ostensibly a practical and instructional guide regarding agricultural concerns, it also offers political commentary on the use of land in the wake of war. The georgic was revived by British poets in the eighteenth century, when the use of land was changing both due to the increased use of enlightenment farming techniques and due to political realignments such as the union of England, Scotland, and Wales.
Your Georgic could be a simple set of instructions on how to grow or care for something, but it could also incorporate larger themes as to how land should be used (or not used), or for what purposes.
Welcome back, everyone, for the third week of NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo!
Our featured participant for the day is rhymeswithbug, where the sports poem for Day 20 imagines poetry as a game of golf!
Today’s interview is with Eileen Myles, a longtime New Yorker and erstwhile presidential candidate, whose poems exhibit a direct, punk sensibility. You can read more about Myles in this brief New York Times profile, and you can find a number of her poems here.
And now for our (optional) prompt. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that incorporates overheard speech. It could be something you’ve heard on the radio, or a phrase you remember from your childhood, even something you overheard a coworker say in the break room! Use the overheard speech as a springboard from which to launch your poem. Your poem could comment directly on the overheard phrase or simply use it as illustration or tone-setting material.