Welcome, all, to the first day of NaPoWriMo!
Each day during the month of April, we’ll be featuring a participant’s blog, and a prompt. Something new we’ll also be doing this year is featuring a small press or journal every day, with a focus on those presses/journals that have published NaPoWriMo participants. If you have an idea for a magazine or press that we should feature, please let us know at napowrimonet-AT-gmail-DOT-com.
Our featured press for the day is Ravenna Press. Ravenna recently published Crown, by Joanna Penn Cooper, who has been participating in NaPoWriMo for several years. In addition to publishing books, Ravenna also hosts/publishes three different online magazines, Anemone Sidecar, ALBA: a Journal of Short Poetry, and Snow Monkey. If you’ve got a poetry book manuscript that you are hoping to have published, Ravenna sponsors a yearly contest, the Cathlamet Prize for Poetry, and publishes the winning manuscript. In June, Ravenna will begin accepting entries for the 2014 Cathlamet Prize .
Our featured participant for the day is Veronica Hosking, who has been participating in NaPoWriMo since 2010. Welcome back!
And last, but not least, our prompt. Our prompts are, as always, optional. If you have your own plans for generating poems, or find prompts elsewhere that suit you better, that’s just fine. Our prompts are there just to help those who are having trouble getting inspired – if you’re full up on inspiration, there’s no need to follow them. With that out of the way, I’ve chosen something I hope will be fun and simple, to ease you into your first day. Today, I’d like you to go to Reb Livingston’s Bibliomancy Oracle. Clear your mind, push the button, and then write a poem based on the quotation that the oracle provides. Happy writing!
Tomorrow is the first day of NaPoWrimo. I hope you are feeling excited and inspired.
Today’s poetry resource is the Big Poetry Giveaway. Now in its fifth year, the Giveaway celebrates National Poetry Month by giving participants the opportunity to get books of poetry, for free!
I know that by the time I post the first “official” prompt, it will already have been April 1 for a while in some parts of the world, so here is an extra little prompt (totally optional — as all our prompts are) for those of you who are experiencing NaPoWriMo earlier than me.
The prompt for all you early birds is an ekphrastic poem – a poem inspired by or about a work of art. There’s no rules on the form for an ekphrastic poem, so you could write a sonnet or a haiku or free verse. Some well-known ekphrastic poems include Rilke’s Archaic Torso of Apollo and Keats’ Ode on a Grecian Urn. But ekphrastic poetry is alive and well today, too, as your efforts today will reflect.
NaPoWriMo begins in only two more days. You can follow along with the prompts here, but also via twitter and on Facebook – check out @napowrimo2014, and the NaPoWriMo facebook page. Here are two NaPoWriMo blog buttons, for those that are interested:
Continuing with our pre-April review of poetry resources, today I’d like to draw your attention to some of the many poetry-related podcasts out there. The Poetry Foundation has a whole page devoted to audio/podcasts. You can download recordings of readings, discussions between poets, and lectures on poetry. Another great resource is PennSound, where you’ll find many recordings of readings, interviews, and more.
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.