Today’s the 12th Day of NaPoWriMo. We’re getting close to the halfway mark!
Today’s featured participant is Frankly Can’t Communicate, where the poems are all hand-written. It’s interesting to see how the handwriting itself influences the reading of the poems.
Today’s (optional) prompt is a “replacement” poem. Pick a common noun for a physical thing, for example, “desk” or “hat” or “bear,” and then pick one for something intangible, like “love” or “memories” or “aspiration.” Then Google your tangible noun, and find some sentences using it. Now, replace that tangible noun in those sentences with your intangible noun, and use those sentences to create (or inspire) a poem. Here’s a little example that replaces the word “lemon,” in sentences from a Wikipedia article on lemons, with the word “sorrow.”
Sorrow is a small evergreen tree native to Asia.
The origin of sorrow is a mystery.
The first substantial cultivation of sorrow in Europe
began in Genoa in the middle of the 15th century.
A halved sorrow dipped in salt or baking powder
is used to brighten copper cookware. One educational
science experiment involves attaching electrodes
to sorrow and using it as a battery.
Although very low power, several sorrows
can power a small digital watch.
Goofy, but also interesting! It’s not quite a poem yet, but there might be a poem in there, waiting to come out. Happy writing!
Hello all, and welcome back for Day 11.
Our featured journal for the day is The Lincoln Underground, a literary magazine out of Lincoln, Nebraska, that has published NaPoWriMo-er Vicky McDonald Harris. The magazine just launched its Spring 2014 issue, and is currently open for poetry submissions.
Today’s featured participant is the lyrically mysterious Bir and June.
And now, our prompt (optional, as always).Poets have been writing about love and wine, wine and love, since . . . well, since the time of Anacreon, a Greek poet who was rather partial to that subject matter. Anacreon developed a particular meter for his tipsy, lovey-dovey verse, but Anacreontics in English generally do away with meter-based constraints. Anacreontics might be described as a sort of high-falutin’ drinking song. So today I challenge you to write about wine-and-love. Of course, you may have no love of wine yourself, in which case you might try an anti-Anacreontic poem. Happy writing!
Hello, everyone. We’re a third of the way through April — I hope your poetry engines are still humming along.
Our featured press for the day is Coconut, which publishes full-length books, chapbooks, and a magazine. Coconut has published longtime NaPoWriMo-er Mark Lamoureux, among others. The press is currently accepting submissions of poetry book manuscripts.
Our featured participant for Day 10 is naming constellations, where the poem for Day 8 is a beau present — a new form to me, and one that looks complicated but fun!
Our own prompt for today should be a little simpler. (As always, the prompts are optional). Once upon a time, poetry was regularly used in advertisements, most notably the Burma-Shave ads:
Said Farmer Brown
Who’s bald on top
“Wish I could
Rotate the crop”
She put a bullet
Through his hat
But he’s had closer
Shaves than that
Today, I challenge you to write your own advertisement-poem. You don’t need to advertise Burma-Shave. Any product (or idea) will do. Perhaps you could write a poem advertising poetry? It certainly could use the publicity! On that note, let me leave you until tomorrow with this paen to the virtues of advertisement:
The codfish lays ten thousand eggs,
The homely hen lays one.
The codfish never cackles
To tell you what she’s done-
And so we scorn the codfish
While the humble hen we prize.
It only goes to show you
That it pays to advertise!
Hello, everyone, and welcome back for Day 9.
Our featured press for the day is Tree Light Books, which published Tony Mancus’ chapbook Bye Sea in 2013. Submissions to Tree Light are currently closed, but its companion magazine, Ghost Ocean, reads submissions year-round.
Today’s featured participant is Angie Inspired, where not just the poem for Day 8, but other poems as well, riff on famous poems or famous poets’ styles.
And now, our (optional) prompt. Today’s prompt was suggested by Bruce Niedt. Here’s Bruce’s explanation: take any random song play list (from your iPod, CD player, favorite radio station, Pandora or Spotify , etc.) and use the next five song titles on that randomized list in a poem.
Hello, all. It’s Day Eight of NaPoWriMo. I hope your writing is going well!
Our featured press for the day is Finishing Line Press, which will publish Lauren Gordon’s chapbook Meaningful Fingers later this year. Many of the poems in the collection were first written during last year’s NaPoWriMo. Finishing Line publishes both books and chapbooks, and is open for chapbook manuscript submissions year-round.
And now for today’s (optional, as always!) prompt. Today, let’s rewrite a famous poem, giving it our own spin. While any famous poem will do, if you haven’t already got one in mind, why not try your own version of Cesar Vallejo’s Black Stone Lying on a White Stone? If you’re not exactly sure how such a poem could be “re-written,” check out this recent poem by Stephen Burt, which riffs on Vallejo’s. Happy writing!
Hello, all. It’s Day Seven of NaPoWriMo — one week in, three-and-change to go. I hope you’ve had fun during our first week.
Our featured journal for Day 7 is The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, which has published NaPoWriMo-er Patricia Johnson, and recently ran an online chapbook of poetry by Shann Palmer, a longtime NaPoWriMo-er who passed away late last year.
Our featured participant for the day is if we sink, where the poems veer blend a breathless Beat-poetry style with effective use of repetition and memory.
Today’s prompt is to write a love poem . . . but the object of the poem should be inanimate. You can write a love poem to your favorite pen, the teddy bear you had as a child (and maybe still have), or anything else, so long as it’s not alive! Happy writing.
Welcome back for Day Six of NaPoWriMo. Yesterday’s prompt was a bit of a doozy, so I’ve something much more simple lined up for today.
Our featured journal for the day is Stone Crowns. This online magazine is focused on young adult readers and has published NaPoWriMo-er Veronica Hosking (who was also our featured participant for Day 1). Check out the magazine’s submission guidelines here.
Today’s featured participant is Coordinated Mayhem, whose golden shovel for Day Five is based on Carl Sandburg’s poem, Fog.
And now, the (as always, optional) prompt. We got rather complicated with yesterday’s prompt, so today’s is much simpler. Take a good look outside your window. Spend a minute or so jotting down all the nouns you see outside. Tree. Car. Bus. Dog. Then spend a minute or so writing down all the colors you see. Finally, think about taking place outside. Is the wind blowing? “Blow.” Is someone walking their dog? “Walk.” Spend a minute or so writing down these verbs. Now you’ve got a whole list of words from which to build a poem, mixing and matching as you go. Happy writing!
Welcome back, all, for Day Five of NaPoWriMo!
Today’s featured press is Zone 3, operating out of Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. Zone 3 both publishes books and a bi-annual magazine. The magazine’s annual poetry contest is now underway, offering a prize of$250 for the best poem.
Today’s featured participant is Six Guns and Soda Pop, where the daily poems combine to tell a story. In fact, the poems are picking up from a poem-story written during last year’s NapoWriMo!
Today’s prompt is a little complicated, which is why I saved it for a Saturday, in the hopes that you might have a little more time today than during a weekday. I think this is a very rewarding form, though, so I hope you’ll enjoy it! Today I challenge you to write a “golden shovel.” This form was invented by Terrance Hayes in his poem, The Golden Shovel. The last word of each line of Hayes’ poem is a word from Gwendolyn Brooks’ poem We Real Cool. You can read Brooks’ poem by reading the last word of each line of Hayes’ poem! (In fact, you can do so twice, because Hayes, being ultra-ambitious, wrote a two-part golden shovel, repeating Brooks’ poem). Now, the golden shovel is a tricky form, but you can help keep it manageable by picking a short poem to shovel-ize. And there’s no need to double-up the poem you pick, like Hayes did. Here are a few possibilities to work from:
On the fruit stand.
We eat the smile
And spit out the teeth.
Their relationship consisted
In discussing if it existed.
My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light!
-Edna St. Vincent Millay
Hello, all. It’s Day Four of NaPoWriMo. I hope your writing is going well.
Our featured press for the day is Bloof Books. Bloof’s publisher, Shanna Compton, has been doing NaPoWriMo since the very beginning and each year, she rounds up a group of Bloof authors to participate. You can follow their progress at here. Bloof publishes both chapbooks and full-length poetry collections. Bloof will hold an open reading period for chapbook manuscripts later this year — likely in June or July. Maybe your NaPoWriMo poems will result in just such a manuscript!
Today’s featured participant is Little Learner, whose ekphrastic poem for Day 1 uses parentheticals and indentations to create a sense of dramatic space, in some ways visually reflecting the monument that is the subject of the poem.
Today’s optional prompt is to write a lune. A lune is a sort of English-language variation on the haiku, meant to better render the tone of the Japanese haiku than the standard 5-7-5 format we all learned (and maybe loved) in elementary school. There are a couple of variants on the lune form, but just to keep things simple, let’s try the version developed by Jack Collum. His version of the lune involves a three-line stanza. The first line has three words. The second line has five, and the third line has three. You can write a poem that consists of just one stanza, or link many lune-stanzas together into a unified poem. Happy writing!
Today is the third day of NaPoWriMo. I hope you are having fun so far. I also wanted to remind everyone that you can follow along with NaPoWriMo via twitter and on Facebook – check out@napowrimo2014, and the NaPoWriMo facebook page.
I’m tooting my own horn a bit with today’s featured press – I hope you don’t mind too much! Operating out of the United Kingdom, Shearsman publishes a wealth of poetry books each year, as well as Shearsman magazine. Shearsman’s titles include books by authors throughout the English-speaking world, works in translation, and reprints of classics. And now the horn-tooting: Shearsman recently published my own second book. I couldn’t be happier to see it out from a press that is doing so much to make poems both new and old available to a global audience.
Our featured participant for Day Three is Scant Scintilla, offering found poetry, erasures, and “other attempts.” The poems here are built out of (and both revel in and deplore) the language of business, of news, and of the general internet insanity that is all around us.
And now, the (as always, optional) prompt. In keeping with today’s status as the third day of NaPoWriMo, I challenge you to write a charm – a simple rhyming poem, in the style of a recipe-slash-nursery rhyme. It could be a charm against warts, or against traffic tickets. It could be a charm to bring love, or to bring free pizzas from your local radio station. Here’s a little springtime example of my own concoction, inspired by what I hope turns out just to be hay-fever.
A Charm Against the Common Cold
Petals from a tulip,
Leather from a new whip,
Snow from years ago,
And a tiger’s left-most toe–
In no freezes steep me,
But from all sneezes keep me.