Hello, everyone! It’s March 31st, Na/GloPoWriMo Eve! I hope everyone  is feeling ready to try their hand at this year’s challenge.

As usual, we’ll be featuring a participant each day, providing a poetry-related resource, and a daily prompt (which you have the choice of using or ignoring as you please).

In the past, our resources have included interviews with poets, links to poetry-related podcasts and videos, links to online chapbooks, and more. This year, we’ll be featuring links to web-based poetry readings. While readings have traditionally been highly local – taking place in bars, coffee shops, libraries and private homes, so that only folks in the immediate vicinity can attend – one consequence of the coronavirus pandemic is that poetry reading series have taken their work online and into the world of Zoom and other videoconferencing platforms. This means people from around the world can hear their favorite poets reading live, and even ask questions. It’s not quite the same as an in-person reading, but it’s not worse – just different. And in some ways, better (e.g., you can wear your pajamas to the reading, and you don’t have to drive home afterwards).

The downside of a live reading, even one available through the internet, is that it’s at a particular date and time! So we’ll be featuring a mix of live readings and pre-recorded readings that you can watch or listen to at your leisure. We’ll point out the live readings a day before they’re actually scheduled to occur, to give you some advance notice and time to register or sign up for each event.

With that, here’s our first featured reading – pre-recorded so that you can enjoy it whenever you like. It’s the poet Mary Ruefle, giving a series of “28 Short Poetry Lectures” at Harvard’s Woodberry Poetry Room.

Finally, because April 1 arrives a few hours earlier for many of our participants than it does for us at Na/GloPoWriMo headquarters, we’re also featuring an early-bird prompt today. Today, we’d like to challenge you to spend a few minutes looking for a piece of art that interests you in the online galleries of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Perhaps a floral collar from the tomb of Tutankhamen? Or a Tibetan cavalryman’s suit of armor? Or a gold-and-porcelain flute? After you’ve selected your piece, study the photographs and the accompanying text. And then – write a poem! Maybe about who you imagine making the piece, or using it. Or how it wound up in the museum? Or even the life of the person who wrote the text about the piece – perhaps the Met has a windowless basement full of graduate students churning out artwork descriptions – who knows?

Happy writing!

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