Hello, everyone! Today, we are two-thirds of the way through NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo, and heading into the home stretch.
Our featured participant today is this and other poems, where the creation myth for Day 19 is “tenuous,” but strikingly believable!
Last but not least, here is our (optional) prompt for the day. Today, I challenge you to write a poem that incorporates the vocabulary and imagery of a specific sport or game. Your poem could invoke chess or baseball, hopscotch or canasta, Monopoly or jai alai. The choice is yours!
Welcome back, everyone, for the nineteenth day of NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo.
Our featured participant for the day is dogtrax, where the neologism poem for Day 18 created many new compound words!
Today’s interview is with Tommy Pico, whose first book, a long poem that unfurls like an extended meditation-slash-text message, was published to critical acclaim last year. You can check out some of Pico’s work here.
And now for our daily prompt (optional, as always!). Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that recounts a creation myth. It doesn’t have to be an existing creation myth, or even recount how all of creation came to be. It could be, for example, your own take on the creation of ball-point pens, or the discovery of knitting. Your myth can be as big or small as you would like, as serious or silly as you make it.
Hello, all! It’s the eighteenth day of NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo. I hope your poems are simmering along!
Our interviewee for the day is Rita Dove, Pulitzer Prize winner, former Poet Laureate of the United States, and the author of ten books of poetry, a novel, a play, a collection of short stories, and a book of essays. Whew! That’s a lot of writing. You can find a number of her poems here. If you’re not sure which one to choose, here’s my personal favorite.
And now for our (optional) prompt. Today, I challenge you to write a poem that incorporates neologisms. What’s that? Well, it’s a made-up word! Your neologisms could be portmanteaus (basically, a word made from combining two existing words, like “motel” coming from “motor” and “hotel”) or they could be words invented entirely for their sound. Probably the most famous example of a poem incorporating neologisms is Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky, but neologisms don’t have to be funny or used in the service of humor. You can use them to try to get at something that you don’t have an exact word for, or to create a sense of sound and rhythm, or simply to make the poem feel strange and unworldly.
Hello, everyone, and welcome back for the seventeenth day of NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo!
Today’s featured participant is Yesterday and today: Merril’s historical musings, where the correspondence poem for Day 16 is a bittersweet meditation on a letter never written.
Our featured interview for the day is with Hoa Nguyen, whose work is marked by a sense of immediate address and a pop-culture sensibility. You can learn more about Nguyen here, and you can find examples of her poetry here and here and here.
And now for our (optional) prompt. Today, I challenge you to write a nocturne. In music, a nocturne is a composition meant to be played at night, usually for piano, and with a tender and melancholy sort of sound. Your nocturne should aim to translate this sensibility into poetic form! Need more inspiration? Why not listen to one of history’s most famous nocturnes, Chopin’s Op. 9 No. 2?
Hello, all, and welcome to Day Sixteen of NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo! We’re now officially on the downhill stretch.
Our featured participant today is Paul Scribbles, where the halfway poem for Day 15 explores the complex idea of the middle in deceptively simple language.
Today’s featured interview is with Aimee Nezhukumatathil, the author of three books of poetry, a chapbook of letter-poems with Ross Gay, and the current writer-in-residence at the University of Mississippi’s MFA program. You can find more information on Nezhukumatathil here, and some of her poems here and here.
And now for our prompt (optional, as always). Today I challenge you to take your inspiration, like our featured interviewee did in the chapbook she co-authored with Ross Gay, from the act of letter-writing. Your poem can be in the form of a letter to a person, place, or thing, or in the form of a back-and-forth correspondence.
Welcome back, all! Today marks the halfway point of NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo.
Our featured participant today is Strangelander2015, where you will find not one, but three clerihews for Day 14.
Today’s interview is with Kaveh Akbar, who is not only a wonderful poet in his own right, but the editor of a journal devoted to interviewing poets! You can find examples of his work here, and here, and here.
Last, but not least, here’s our prompt for the day (optional, as always!). Because we’re halfway through NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that reflects on the nature of being in the middle of something. The poem could be about being on a journey and stopping for a break, or the gap between something half-done and all-done. Half a loaf is supposedly better than none, but what’s the difference between half of a very large loaf and all of a very small one? Let your mind wander into the middle distance, betwixt the beginning of things and the end. Hopefully, you will find some poetry there!
Happy second Friday of NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo, everyone! We’re now a whole two weeks into the month – time flies when you’re writing poetry.
Our featured participant today is Clairvetica, where the ghazal for Day 13 is a mixed-emotions ode to London.
Today’s interview is with Troy Jollimore. A poet whose work often has a philosophical bent, he won the National Book Critics Circle award for his first book, Tom Thomson in Purgatory. You can find three of Jollimore’s poems here and four more here.
Last but not least, our prompt! Because it’s Friday, let’s keep it light and silly today, with a clerihew. This is a four line poem biographical poem that satirizes a famous person. Here’s one I just made up:
wasn’t a fickle one.
Having settled in Amherst,
she wouldn’t be dispersed.
Is it going to win a Pulitzer prize? Nope – but it was fun to write!
Hello, all! Today is the 13th day of NaPoWriMo. I hope you have at least a dozen poems under your belt, and that your writing practice is going strong. Also, apologies for the late post today! We had a little snafu with our post-scheduling software.
Today’s featured participant is Jane Dougherty writes, where the alliterative/assonant poem for Day Twelve is wistful and lilting.
Our interview today is with Evie Shockley. Originally from Tennessee, Shockley is the author of two books of poetry, and is at home with both formal verse and more experimental lyrics. You can watch a video of Shockley giving a poetry reading here, and you can read some of her poems here.
And now for our (optional) prompt. Today’s is an oldie-but-a-goody: the ghazal. The form was originally developed in Arabic and Persian poetry, but has become increasingly used in English, after being popularized by poets including Agha Shahid Ali. A ghazal is formed of couplets, each of which is its own complete statement. Both lined of the first couplet end with the same phrae or end-word, and that end-word is also repeated at the end of each couplet. If you’re really feeling inspired, you can also attempt to incorporate internal rhymes and a reference to your own name in the final couplet. Here are a few examples – Evie Shockley’s “where you are planted,” Ali’s “Tonight,” and Patricia Smith’s “Hip Hop Ghazal.”
Hello, everyone, and welcome back for Day 12 of NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo.
Our featured participant today is Tidbits by Shannon, where the “Bop” poem for Day 11 invites us to do the attractively unthinkable.
Today’s interviewee is Ocean Vuong, a Vietnamese-American poet raised in Hartford, Connecticut. His first book of poems, Night Sky With Exit Wounds, was published last year by Copper Canyon Press. Vuong’s poems incorporate uniquely startling images with a tight attention to sound. You can learn a little more about Vuong here and find examples of his poems here and here.
And finally, here is our daily prompt (optional, as always). Today, I’d like you to write a poem that explicitly incorporates alliteration (the use of repeated consonant sounds) and assonance (the use of repeated vowel sounds). This doesn’t mean necessarily limiting yourself to a few consonants or vowels, although it could. Even relatively restrained alliteration and assonance can help tighten a poem, with the sounds reinforcing the sense. Need some examples. Here’s Gerard Manley Hopkins showcasing alliteration and assonance on overdrive. And here is a poem with a more restrained approach from Kevin Young.
Welcome back, all, for the eleventh day of NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo!
Our featured participant for the day is Unassorted stories, where the poem for Day 9 is a portrait of a mental makeover.
Today, we’re also featuring a 1962 interview with Sylvia Plath. In popular culture, Plath is known for three things: (1) she wrote angry poems, (2) she killed herself, and (3) teenage girls who feel angry and a little gothy read her to feel angrier and a little gothier. But look a little further, and you’ll find a deeply philosophical poet, a master of unusual similes that set the reader rocking back on their heels, and a refuser of obvious or comfortable ideas, particularly about motherhood, femininity, and the reality of existing in a physical body. There’s a lot to learn from her densely layered, uncompromising verse. Looking for a few examples of her work beyond those poems you might have already seen? Here’s one, and another, and another.
And last but not least, here’s our (optional) prompt for the day: the Bop. The invention of poet Afaa Michael Weaver, the Bop is a kind of combination sonnet + song. Like a Shakespearan sonnet, it introduces, discusses, and then solves (or fails to solve) a problem. Like a song, it relies on refrains and repetition. In the basic Bop poem, a six-line stanza introduces the problem, and is followed by a one-line refrain. The next, eight-line stanza discusses and develops the problem, and is again followed by the one-line refrain. Then, another six-line stanza resolves or concludes the problem, and is again followed by the refrain. Here’s an example of a Bop poem written by Weaver, and here’s another by the poet Ravi Shankar.