It’s Day 23, everyone. After today, there’s just seven days left to NaPoWriMo!
Today’s featured participant is Gloria D. Gonsalves, whose children’s poem for Day 22 has a lovely kind of off-kilter-ness to it, which recreates the sort of determined but not always logical progression of childhood thoughts.
Our featured journal today is Metazen, which has published NaPoWriMo-er Kevin Sampsell. Metazen publishes new work daily, so submissions are always open. You can check out the submission guidelines here.
Today’s prompt (optional, as always), is an oldie-but-a-goodie: the homophonic translation. Find a poem in a language you don’t know, and translate it into English based on the look of the words and their sounds. For example, here are three lines from a poem by the Serbian poet Vasko Popa:
Posle radnog vremena
Radnici su umorni
Jedva cekaju da stignu u barake
I might translate this into English as
Post-grad eggnog, ramen noodles.
Nikki in the morning,
jacket just stuck with brakes.
That doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it does give me some new words and ideas to play with. Happy writing!
Welcome back, everyone, for Day 22!
Our featured participant for Day 22 is Freckled Writer, whose poem for Day 18 contains some good, bad, and indifferent advice for women and girls, including “You can prevent most problems/ by worrying about them/ before they happen.” I have, unfortunately, been attempting to prevent problems like that since I was born.
And now for our (optional) prompt! Today, I challenge you to write a poem for children. This could be in the style of a nursery rhyme, or take a cue from Edward Lear or Shel Silverstein. It could rhyme — or not. It could be short — or not. Happy writing!
It’s Day 21 — we’re three weeks into NaPoWriMo now.
Our featured participant for Day 21 is Voiceless Fricative, who really went to town on incorporating wacky seashell names into her poem for Day 19.
Today’s prompt is to write a “New York School” poem using the recipe found here. The New York School is the name by which a group of poets that all lived in New York in the 1950s and 1960s. The most well-known members are Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, and Kenneth Koch. Their poems are actually very different from one another, but many “New York School” poems display a sort of conversational tone, references to friends and to places in and around New York, humor, inclusion of pop culture, and a sense of the importance of art (visual, poetic, and otherwise). Here’s a fairly representative example.
In following the recipe, you can include as many (or as few) of the listed elements as you wish. Happy writing!
We’re now two-thirds of the way through NaPoWriMo. Congratulations to everyone who has made it this far!
Our featured journal today is Finery, an online magazine associated with the small press Birds of Lace, which has been running a special series of poems for April. You can see Finery’s submissions guidelines here.
And now for our (optional) prompt. Today I challenge you to write a poem in the voice of a member of your family. This can be a good way to try to distance yourself from your own experience, without reaching so far away from your own life that it’s hard to come up with specific, realistic details. But watch out! This type of exercise can also dredge up a lot of feelings. So if you think writing in the voice of your grandfather will be too heavy, maybe try the voice of your four-year-old niece. Four-year-old problems might be a little lighter in scope.
Welcome back for Day 19, everyone.
Also! If you have any ideas for featured presses or journals (I’m looking in particular for those that have published (or will soon be publishing) NaPoWriMo participants), please send me your ideas at napowrimonet-AT-gmail-DOT-com!
Today’s featured participant is The Georgia Southern University NaPoWriMo blog.
And now for today’s (optional) prmpt. This is a bit silly, but it’s Saturday. I recently got a large illustrated guide to sea shells. There are some pretty wild names for sea shells. Today I challenge you to take a look at the list of actual sea shell names below, and to use one or more of them to write a poem. You poem doesn’t have to be about sea shells at all — just inspired by one or more of the names.
Snout Otter Clam
Shoulderblade Sea Cat
Lazarus Jewel Box
Atlantic Turkey Wing
Just twelve days left! I hope your poetry motors are purring.
Today’s featured participant is Dizygotic Poets, where the poems for Day 14 and Day 15 have a sort of post-apocolyptic Old West flair.
Our featured journal today is Sink Review, which has published both Jared White and Becca Klaver, both of whom are posting poems over at the Bloof Books blog. Sink is accepting poetry submissions through December 15.
And now for our prompt (optional, as always). Today I challenge you to write a ruba’i. What’s that? Well, it’s a Persian form — multipe stanzas in the ruba’i form are a rubaiyat, as in The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Basically, a ruba’i is a four-line stanza, with a rhyme scheme of AABA. Robert Frost’s famous poem Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening uses this rhyme scheme. You can write a poem composed of one ruba’i, or try your hand at more, for a rubaiyat. Happy writing!
Hello, all, and welcome back for Day 17.
our featured participant for Day 17 is The Robust Epicurean, where you’ll find a series of abecedarian haiku.
Today’s (optional) prompt is to write a poem in which you very specifically describe something in terms of at least three of the five senses. So, for example, your poem could carefully describe the smell of something, the taste of something, and the sound of something. It might be helpful to pick things you have actually encountered during your day: a cup of coffee at the office (“burnt, flat, and joylessly acrid”), or a hyacinth in the neighobr’s yard (“riotously curled petals shading violet-lavender-white, against the dark-green glossy-smooth leaves”). Happy writing!
It’s the first day of the second half of NaPoWriMo. Welcome back, everyone!
our featured participant today is the Rutgers NaPoWriMo blog, where you’ll find a poem each day by students in the English PhD program and their friends.
And now for today’s prompt (optional, as always). After yesterday’s form-based prompt, today’s will hopefully be somewhat easier to get into. This prompt is from Daisy Fried, and the basic idea is to write a ten-line poem in which each line is a lie. Your lies could be silly, complicated, tricky, or obvious. This exercise kind of reminds me of Calvin’s dad:
It’s Day Fifteen, everyone. We’re halfway through NaPoWriMo!
Our featured journal for today is White Whale Review, which has published work by NaPoWriMo-er Jay Snodgrass. White Whale Review is currently reading for its sixth issue. Check out their submission guidelines here.
Today’s featured participant is Optional Poetry. There’s a tender resignation to Day 11’s anacreontic poem that I really enjoyed.
And now our (optional) prompt! Today, I challenge you to write a poem in terza rima. This form was invented by Dante, and used in The Divine Comedy. It consists of three-line stanzas, with a “chained” rhyme scheme. The first stanza is ABA, the second is BCB, the third is CDC, and so on. No particular meter is necessary, but English poets have tended to default to iambic pentameter (iambic pentameter is like the Microsoft Windows of English poetry). One common way of ending a terza rima poem is with a single line standing on its own, rhyming with the middle line of the preceding three-line stanza.
Here’s a short example of a fairly contemporary poem in terza rima:
I read how Quixote in his random ride
Came to a crossing once, and lest he lose
The purity of chance, would not decide
Whither to fare, but wished his horse to choose.
For glory lay wherever he might turn.
His head was light with pride, his horse’s shoes
Were heavy, and he headed for the barn.
— Richard Wilbur
Hello all– we’re two weeks into NaPoWriMo!
Today’s featured journal/press is Similar Peaks, which has published NaPoWriMo-er Kelly Jones. Similar Peaks publishes both an online magazine and poetry chapbooks. Keep your eyes out for their open reading periods.
Our featured participant for the day is Travelling Hat, whose substitution poem for Day 12 is really wonderful. I know that this was a pretty strange prompt, but I think the results across the NaPoWriMo-i-verse have been pretty great. If nothing else, it’s a prompt that gets you to sentences you probably wouldn’t have come up with off the top of your head.
Today’s prompt (optional, as always) is a little something I’m calling “Twenty Questions.” The idea is to write a poem in which every sentence, except for the last one, is in the form of a question. That’s it! It can be as long or short as you like. The questions can be deep and philosophical (‘what is the meaning of life?’) or routine and practical (‘are you going to eat that?’). Or both!