NaPoWriMo is right around the corner. We’ve got more than 300 different sites in our participants’ list already, and we usually see a big spike in the last few days before April begins. I wonder how many we’ll get up to this year?
As you continue your preparations, why not take a look at some of the many poetry groups and movements that have existed? Perhaps you’ll be interested in the Poets Maudits of late 19th-century and early 20th-century France, or the Fugitive and Agragrian movements of the American south. Good general places to start exploring include the American Academy of Poets’ list of schools/movements, or Wikipedia’s list.
Poetry movements or schools are usually defined by their members’ similar aesthetic concerns, and often their significant personal interaction, as members help each other to draft and edit their poems, publish each other, and generally provide each other with moral support — and sometimes some mutually-inspiring interpersonal drama, too. But movements have often had a geographic element — the poets knew each other because they all lived, at one time or another, in the same place. But the internet has decreased the importance of geographic proximity, bringing together poets who otherwise might never have met, allowing them to argue, collaborate, and share ideas. Who knows — maybe a movement or two will be started by people who meet through NaPoWriMo. Only time will tell.
It’s the Friday before NaPoWriMo begins. Soon it will be the weekend, time to plan, and plot, and hatch complicated schemes for making it through a month of poetry. Just kidding! We’ll have optional prompts to help you each day, and the point of NaPoWriMo is really just to get something down on the page, not to have perfectly edited poems spring forth from your pens like Athena from the head of Zeus.
But speaking of classical things, there’s nothing like a classical education. And with poetry, that means forms and devices. If you don’t know your villanelle from your anapest, or your renga from your synecdoche, there are a number of sources that can help you. Online, you’ll find glossaries of forms/devices available from both the Poetry Foundation and the Academy of American Poets. Offline, I’d recommend Babette Deutsch’s Poetry Handbook: A Dictionary of Terms. I picked up mine in a used book-store for a song, but you can also buy it from Amazon and other online retailers.
Not that you need to be up-to-snuff on your devices and forms to write a poem. Nosirree! But this type of information can be very helpful when you’re trying to describe a poem to others, and to explain how it does what it does. And who knows? Maybe you’ll fall in love with alexandrines or double dactyls, and wind up with a whole new batch of poems.
Five days until NaPoWriMo; I hope you are sharpening your pencils, dusting off your keyboards, and thumbing through your rhyming dictionaries.
It used to be that, in order to read new poetry, you’d need to go find a magazine that dealt in poetry, or perhaps a newspaper with an editor with a fondness for verse. Now, however, there are so many online poetry journals that you could spend weeks poring through them. There’s no excuse for not reading new poetry — it’s as easy as pushing “enter” on your keyboard.
During April, we’ll be featuring some presses and journals, including online journals, that have published NaPoets. But for now let me whet your appetite by pointing out a couple of places to regularly find new poetry on the web. First, the Pen Poetry Series brings us a new poem every week. But maybe once a week isn’t enough? For the technologically inclined, the Poem Flow App will send a new poem every day to your phone or tablet (you can also read online). And Poetry Daily, as its name implies, posts a new poem every day, generally from a freshly-released book of poetry.
All of these sources are great places to get a taste of poets you might not yet have heard of, and keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in contemporary poetry. Happy reading!
Hello, all. We’ve less than a week to go until NaPoWriMo. If you’re hungry for poetry news in the meantime (or at any time, really), you could do worse than visit Harriet, the blog of the Poetry Foundation. You’ll find short posts on new magazines, poetry in the headlines (yes, sometimes mainstream news outlets write about poetry), and longer posts by guest bloggers.
If you’d like to check out something a bit more NaPoWriMo-specific, NaPoet and blogger Judy Kleinberg graciously invited me to contribute a guest post for her blog, which covers poetry news, mainly in the Pacific Northwest. It’s up today! Many thanks to Judy for asking me to contribute.
Hello! It’s just seven days until NaPoWriMo begins. Each day until next Tuesday, I’ll be posting a poetry resource to help get you inspired.
First up, nothing helps me write like reading poetry. Whether a particular line gets me going, or I just don’t like a poem so much that I write what I think is a better one, reading is, for me at least, how writing gets started.
But what to read? Here’s where book reviews can be helpful. Luckily for us, Timothy Liu over at Coldfront Magazine is reviewing 100 books in 100 days. He’s just up to his ninth book, which means we’ll see reviews throughout NaPoWriMo. Maybe something he loves will pique your interest, or maybe you’ll be so annoyed at him canning what you think is a great book/poet that you’ll go re-read them. Either way, I hope it will help you start to prepare for NaPoWriMo.
NaPoWrimo begins next Tuesday! Here on the east coast of the United States, at least, spring has been slow in coming. But neither time nor tide (nor a foot of snow) can keep NaPoWriMo from happening.
Thanks to everyone who has sent in ideas for prompts and featured magazines/presses. Keep ‘em coming! It’s wonderful to learn about all the different places that Na-Poets have had their work published, and a good reminder that even if the poems you write during NaPoWriMo are just unfinished drafts, they may lead to work that will be published in a magazine, or even form part of a book.
For the next week, I’ll be posting a little count-down to NaPoWriMo. In the meantime, here’s a little reminder that you can follow along with NaPoWriMo via twitter and on Facebook – check out @napowrimo2014, and the NaPoWriMo facebook page.
Hello, all. It’s just two weeks until NaPoWriMo starts. I hope you are beginning to feel inspired! Thanks to everyone who has sent in ideas for prompts. I’d also like your help with something else. Last year, I featured a different poetry-themed website each day, mostly blogs that offer book reviews. This year, I’d like to feature small presses and magazines, specifically those who have published NaPoWriMo-ers. Whether you’ve participated in NaPoWriMo for years, or are doing it for the first time, if you’ve had a poem, chapbook, pamphlet or book published (or soon to come out), I’d love to know the magazine/press. Just write me at napowrimonet-AT-gmail-DOT-com.
Hello, all. It’s just three weeks until NaPoWriMo! Sign-ups are open, and we already have people stepping forth to declare their intentions to write 30 poems over the month of April.
Just like last year, I will be posting optional prompts every day during April. I’ve been brainstorming prompts all year, trying my best not to repeat prompts from last year, or the year before. But I would love your help! If you have an idea for a prompt, please email me at napowrimonet-AT-gmail-DOT-com. Suggesters of all used prompts will get a shout-out on the site, as well as the warm fuzzy glow that happens every time you help to usher a poem or two into existence.
Interested in a NaPoWriMo button for your blog or website? I’ve made these two:
or you might consider this fine set of buttons made by Ivy Alvarez back in 2007. She even has an IntPoWriMo button.
Hello, all! It’s that time of year again — time to start thinking about NaPoWriMo, and the prospect of writing a poem a day for the day of April! Sign-ups are now open — last year we had more than 2500 participants! I hope that we’ll be able to break that record this year.
We’ve done a little bit of housekeeping work on the site — most importantly, we’ve added a search feature to the participants’ list, so that you can search for sites by name. We’re also upgrading our commenting system — please bear with us as we work out the kinks in that during the run-up to April.
Another NaPoWriMo has come and gone! My thanks to everyone who participated, and a special shout-out to those of you who met the challenge and wrote 30 poems. If you didn’t quite make it this year, however, don’t worry — there’s always next time.
Thanks also to everyone who wrote in with comments and suggestions for the website. I hope to implement several improvements for next year. In the meantime, all sites, posts, and comments will be left up for at least a month or two. Thanks again, everyone, and I hope you had fun!