Yes, it’s true! We’re just three days out from the beginning of National/Global Poetry Writing Month, when people all over the world take up the challenge of writing a poem every day for all of April.
We’ll be back tomorrow with a new poetry resource for you, and the next day we’ll follow up with another resource and an early-bird prompt. After that, it’s off to the races — each day we’ll be featuring a participant and a poetry-related resource, and providing a (totally optional!) prompt to help anyone who is having trouble coming up with lyrical inspiration on their own.
For now, why not grease your lyrical wheels with a silly test that aims to see if you can tell the difference between poems written by humans and those written by computers?
Hello, everyone! I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy out there, and that you are getting excited about April 1, and the beginning of National/Global Poetry Writing Month 2020.
We’re busily writing prompts and researching poetry resources, to make Na/GloPoWriMo as inspirational and educational as ever. And our “Submit Your Site” page is open and ready to receive any links to websites, blogs, or other internet-places where you’ll be posting work.
We’ll be back on March 29 with the first of three countdown posts (inclusive of an early-bird prompt on March 31). If you have any questions for us in the meantime, you can send them to napowrimonet-AT-gmail-DOT-com.
It’s hard to believe that it’s March 15, already, but here we are — just 16 days away from Na/GloPoWriMo 2020!
We’ll be back on March 25 (which marks the one-week-to-go point) with some pre-April posts, but in the meantime, for those of you who intend to post your poems to a blog or other webspace, we have a few “buttons” or “badges” below that you are welcome to use! And of course, please go ahead and submit the link to your site for inclusion on our list of participants’ sites, using the “Submit Your Site” form at the top of the page!
Come, all you poets and versifiers, all you line-crafters yearning to breathe free!
Today is March 1, and that means not only that spring is on its way, but that we just have 30 days to go until the start of National/Global Poetry Writing Month, otherwise known as Na/GloPoWriMo!
What is Na/GloPoWriMo? It’s simple — it’s just the month of April, but as experienced by people all over the world who commit to writing a poem every day for the whole month. That’s 30 poems apiece. They don’t have to be long, they don’t have to be “good” (whatever that means) — they just have to be written!
How does it work? That’s simple, too — just write a poem every day from April 1 to April 30. There’s no requirement that you publish or share them. You can write them in your own notebook; you can keep them all to yourself. But if you do decide to post your efforts to a blog or other internet space this year, you can submit the link using our “Submit Your Site” form, and your website will show up in our “Participants’ Sites” list.
As in prior years, we’ll be posting an optional daily prompt to help you get inspired, as well as featuring a different participant each day. We’ll also be featuring a daily poetry resource — a link to an interesting essay, video, recording, or article that we hope will help you to get — and stay — excited about poetry.
As April approaches, watch this space for further updates and of course, once April is here, you can come here for prompts and resources every day. And if you have questions in the meantime, please contact us at napowrimonet AT gmail DOT com.
Whew! We did it, everyone! Another Na/GloPoWriMo has come and gone! I hope that everyone enjoyed the challenge. You might have gotten thirty poems out of it — if so, congratulations! But even if you didn’t, I hope that you found inspiration and joy in our prompts, resources, and featured participants.
Our final featured participant for the year is Aloha Promises Forever, where the minimalist prompt for Day Thirty resulted in a thematically-appropriate haiku.
As usual, we’ll be leaving the “Participants’ Sites” list up until later this year, when we’ll start cleaning up and getting ready for Na/GloPoWriMo 2020.
Finally, thank you to everyone who participated! Your enthusiasm for writing and encouragement of other participants is a wonderful thing to behold. And wherever your poetry may take you until another April rolls around — happy writing!
Hello, all! Well, we knew it had to happen. April, like all months, is impermanent, and so to is Na/GloPoWriMo. But while today is the final day, that doesn’t mean your poetry has to stop! Perhaps you will be encouraged by your efforts this month to keep writing throughout the year. Or maybe you will turn May into your own personal Poetry Revision Month.
Our featured participant for the day is Summer Blues, where the meditative prompt for Day Twenty-Nine gave rise to not one, but two, wry and poignant poems.
Today’s video resource is this short film in which the artist Iris Colomb “translates” the minimalist poems of the Russian poet Eta Dahlia into gesture drawings. This is another great illustration of the way that poetry and other art forms can intersect and inspire one another. This video also shows that the rhythms and sounds of poetry can cross language boundaries, allowing a form of communication beyond the merely literal.
And last but not least, now for our final (but still optional) prompt for this year! Taking a leaf from our video resource, I’d like you to try your hand at a minimalist poem. What’s that? Well, a poem that is quite short, and that doesn’t really try to tell a story, but to quickly and simply capture an image or emotion. Haiku are probably the most familiar and traditional form of minimalist poetry, but there are plenty of very short poems out there that do not use the haiku form. There’s even an extreme style of minimalism in the form of one-word and other “highly compressed” poems. You don’t have to go that far, but you might think of your own poem for the day as a form of gesture drawing. Perhaps you might start from a concrete noun with a lot of sensory connotations, like “Butter” or “Sandpaper,” or “Raindrop” and
– quickly, lightly – go from there.
Hello, all, and welcome back for the penultimate day of Na/GloPoWriMo 2019. We’re almost there!
Today’s featured participant is Voyage des Mots, where the meta-poem for Day Twenty-Eight called forth a lovely ode on a teacher.
Today’s video resource is this short reflection by the poet Lucille Clifton on “Where Ideas Come From.” This video really speaks to me because I have often found myself feeling short of ideas, or that the ideas that I have aren’t “good enough” to become a poem. One of the goals of Na/GloPoWriMo is to help poets push past all these inner voices and editors, and just get words on the page, without worrying too much about whether they’re good, bad, or indifferent. When you stop trying to assign a value to things that haven’t even been written yet, you find ideas everywhere! And I am continually surprised by how many “silly” or “little” ideas generate good poems.
And now for our penultimate (optional) prompt! The poet William Wordsworth once said that “Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.” For Wordsworth, a poem was the calm after the storm – an opportunity to remember and summon up emotion, but at a time and place that allowed the poet to calmly review, direct and control those feelings. A somewhat similar concept is expressed through the tradition of philosophically-inclined poems explicitly labeled as “meditations,” – like Robert Hass’s “Meditation at Lagunitas,” the charming Frank O’Hara prose poem, “Meditations in an Emergency,” or Charles Baudelaire’s “Meditation.”
Today, I’d like to challenge you to blend these concepts into your own work, by producing a poem that meditates, from a position of tranquility, on an emotion you have felt powerfully. You might try including a dramatic, declarative statement, like Hass’s “All the new thinking is about loss,” or O’Hara’s “It is easy to be beautiful; it is difficult to appear so.” Or, like, Baudelaire, you might try addressing your feeling directly, as if it were a person you could talk to. There are as many approaches to this as there are poets, and poems.
Welcome back, everyone! There are only three days left now in Na/GloPoWriMo 2019. I hope you’ve been enjoying the month so far, and are ready for the home stretch.
Our featured participant for the day is paeansunpluggedblog, where the Shakesepeare-inspired prompt for Day Twenty-Seven gave rise to a bard-inspired cento.
Our video resource today was suggested by longtime Na/GloPoWriMo participant Elizabeth Boquet, of Oaks to Acorns. She and a fellow group of poets in Lausanne, Switzerland, have been engaging with the concept of meta-poems – which are poems about poems! In this video, the poets Al Fireis, Lily Applebaum, Dave Poplar, and Camara Brown discuss Emily Dickinson’s “We learned the Whole of Love.” You can find additional background and video discussions of other meta-poems here.
And now for our daily (optional) prompt. As you may have guessed, today I’d like to challenge you to try your hand at a meta-poem of your own. If you’re having trouble coming up with a poem about poetry, and would like to take a look at a few examples, you might check out the Wallace Stevens and Harryette Mullens poems featured in the article about metapoetry linked above, or perhaps Archibald MacLeish’s “Ars Poetica” or Kendel Hippolyte’s “Advice to a Young Poet.”
Happy Saturday, everyone, and happy 27th day of Na/GloPoWriMo!
Our featured participant for the day is Put Out To Pasture, where the “repetition” poem for Day Twenty-Six leans in, hard.
Today’s video resource is this droll tutorial that promises to teach you poetry techniques in 30 minutes. It may seem a bit silly, but there’s a lot of technical detail packed into that half hour! If you’ve always had trouble distinguishing alliteration from assonance, or understanding how the heck to “scan” a poem for metrical stress, this may help clear things up. At they very least, it will make you smile.
And now for our (optional) prompt. Our video resource for the day promises to teach you everything you need to know to write a Shakespearean sonnet, but I’m not going to ask you to do that, exactly. Instead, I’d like to challenge you to “remix” a Shakespearean sonnet. Here’s all of Shakespeare’s sonnets. You can pick a line you like and use it as the genesis for a new poem. Or make a “word bank” out of a sonnet, and try to build a new poem using the same words (or mostly the same words) as are in the poem. Or you could try to write a new poem that expresses the same idea as one of Shakespeare’s sonnets, like “hey baby, this poem will make you immortal” (Sonnet XVIII) or “I’m really bad at saying I love you but maybe if I look at you adoringly, you’ll understand what I mean” (Sonnet XXIII). If you’re feeling both silly and ambitious, you might try writing an anagram-sonnet, like K. Silem Mohammad has done here.
Welcome back, all, for Day 26 of Na/GloPoWriMo 2019.
Today’s featured participant is Yesterday and Today, where the seasonal/sensual prompt for Day 25 resulted in a summery villanelle.
And now for our video resource! Today, we present this recording of the poet Jericho Brown reading his poem “Duplex (I Begin With Love).” Note how simple the vocabulary of the poem is, and how Brown uses the power of repetition, rewording and building on prior lines and phrases to drive the poem along.
Today’s (optional) prompt is centered around repetition. Repetition is at the heart of the rhetorical strategy of “Duplex.” We engage with it daily in the choruses of songs, and it’s long been recognized as one of the ways to keep a listener’s attention and create a sense of satisfaction or closure in spoken or written language, whether that language takes the form of a speech or a poem or even a comedy routine. Many forms of poetry expressly require or rely on repetition – for example, the villanelle or pantoum. Well-handled repetition can give a poem an incantatory effect. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that uses repetition. You can repeat a word, or phrase. You can even repeat an image, perhaps slightly changing or enlarging it from stanza to stanza, to alter its meaning. There are (perhaps paradoxically) infinite possibilities in repetition. Want to look at some examples? Perhaps you’ll find inspiration in Joanna Klink’s “Some Feel Rain” or John Pluecker’s “So Many.”