Hello, everyone! Happy April, and happy first day of National/Global Poetry Writing Month!
If you’re just joining us, Na/GloPoWriMo is an annual challenge in which participants write a poem a day during the month of April. What do you need to do to participate? Just write a poem each day! If you fall behind, try to catch up, but don’t be too hard on yourself – the idea here is to expand your writing practice and engage with new ideas, not to stress yourself out. All too many poets, regardless of their level of experience, get blocked in their writing because they start editing even before they have written anything at all. Let’s leave the editing, criticizing, and stressing out for May and beyond! This month, the idea is just to get something on the page.
If you’ll be posting your efforts to a blog or other website, you can provide us with the link using our “Submit Your Site” form, and it will show up on our “Participants’ Sites” page. But if you’re not going to be posting your work, no worries! It’s not a requirement at all – again, all we’re really trying to do is encourage people to write.
To help with that, we’ll be providing some daily inspiration. Each day, we’ll be featuring a participant, providing you with an optional prompt, and giving you an extra poetry resource. This year, those resources will take the form of poetry-related videos.
And now, without further ado – let’s get to it!
Our first featured participant is Miss Ella’s House of Sleep, whose poem “Annie Edson Taylor’s Birthday Plunge,” used our early-bird prompt to explore a fascinating and little-known historical figure.
Our resource for the day is a short film of January Gill O’Neil reading (and acting out!) her poem “How to Make a Crab Cake.” If you’d like to read the poem itself as you follow along, you can find it here.
For our first (optional) prompt, let’s take our cue from O’Neil’s poem, and write poems that provide the reader with instructions on how to do something. It can be a sort of recipe, like O’Neil’s poem. Or you could try to play on the notorious unreliability of instructional manuals (if you’ve ever tried to put IKEA furniture together, you know what I mean). You could even write a dis-instruction poem, that tells the reader how not to do something. This well-known poem by John Ashbery may provide you with some additional inspiration.