Happy Thursday, everyone, and happy twenty-second day of Na/GloPoWriMo.
Our featured participant today is again, two participants. If you all would just stop writing such great poems, I could probably get myself back down to one. Oh well! First up, we have Connect/Hook, with a rollicking and silly response to the “double deed” prompt for Day 21, and My Musings Through Life, which brings us a softer, more haunting response.
Today, our featured reading is a pre-recorded one, which you can enjoy whenever you have the time. It’s the poet James Dickey (who despite having been the Poet Laureate of the United states, is probably best remembered for his novel, Deliverance, and the film it inspired), reading his poems for the Library of Congress back in 1960.
Finally, here’s our (optional) prompt for the day. It comes to us from Poets & Writers’ “The Time is Now” column, which provides weekly poetry prompts, as well as weekly fiction and creative non-fiction prompts.
In a prompt originally posted this past February, Poets & Writers directs us to an essay by Urvi Kumbhat on the use of mangoes in diasporic literature. As she discusses in her essay, mangoes have become a sort of shorthand or symbol that writers use to invoke an entire culture, country, or way of life. This has the beauty of simplicity – but also the problems of simplicity, in that you really can’t sum up a culture in a single image or item, and you risk cliché if you try.
But at the same time, the “staying power” of the mango underscores the strength of metonymy in poetry. Following Poets & Writers’ prompt, today I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that invokes a specific object as a symbol of a particular time, era, or place.
Hello, all, and welcome back for the third week of Na/GloPoWriMo!
As for today’s featured participant, well, I seem to be making a habit of having two featured daily participants, instead of just one. But that’s because you all are making it so difficult to choose! Today’s dynamic duo is Words with Ruth, where you’ll find a slightly jarring but very wonderfully observed sijo in response to our prompt for Day 20, and Smoke Words Every Day, which braids three sijo verses into a single poem.
And now for our (optional) prompt. Have you ever heard or read the nursery rhyme, “There was a man of double deed?” It’s quite creepy! A lot of its effectiveness can be traced back to how, after the first couplet, the lines all begin with the same two phrases (either “When the . . .” or “Twas like,”). The way that these phrases resolve gets more and more bizarre over the course of the poem, giving it a headlong, inevitable feeling.
Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that, like this one, uses lines that have a repetitive set-up. Here’s an example I came up with after seeing this video of . . . a bucket of owls.
Several owls can fill a bucket.
Several buckets can fill a wheelbarrow.
Several wheelbarrows can fill a truckbed.
Several truckbeds can fill a song.
Several songs can fill a head.
Several heads can fill a bucket.
Several buckets filled with heads and owls
Sing plaintive verse all night long.
As of today, we’re two-thirds of the way through Na/GloPoWriMo 2021. Like all good things, Na/GloPoWriMo must also come to an end – but we’re not there yet!
Our featured participant today is another two-fer, because, once again, I could not choose. First up is Lucky Cat Comics, which not only brings us a rhymed rant in the voice of a raccoon, but managed to teach me something I didn’t know about raccoons at the same time. Our second featured participant is Experience Writing, where you’ll find a rant not in the voice of an animal, but about an animal — namely, the perch.
Today, our featured reading is a pre-recorded one, so you can enjoy it whenever you have time. It’s a very recent reading given by American poet laureate Joy Harjo for Emory University (and don’t be surprised that the video begins with a song — it was written by the poet!). Before the reading, there are discussions of Harjo’s work by Craig Womack and Jennifer Foerster. If you’d like to skip these, go to minute 22 of the video.
Our (optional) prompt for the day is to write a sijo. This is a traditional Korean poetic form. Like the haiku, it has three lines, but the lines are much longer. Typically, they are 14-16 syllables, and optimally each line will consist of two parts – like two sentences, or a sentence of two clauses divided by a comma. In terms of overall structure, a sijo functions like an abbreviated sonnet, in that the first line sets up an inquiry or discussion, the second line continues the discussion, and the third line resolves it with a “twist” or surprise. For more on the sijo, check out the primer here and a long list of examples in English, here.
Good morning, poets! I hope you are feeling fresh and ready to begin another week, and to continue with your goal of writing a poem a day for the month of April.
Our featured participant today is Poem Dive, where the chapter title “The Answer Squash,” from Day 19’s prompt, led to a deliriously rollicking trip to the produce aisle.
Today, our reading is a live event that will take place tomorrow, April 20, at 6 p.m. eastern daylight time. It’s a tribute to the work of the poet John Godfrey, hosted by the Dia Art Foundation. Readers at the event will are Erica Hunt, Duncan McNaughton, Maureen Owen, and Anne Waldman.
And last but not least, our prompt (optional, as always). Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a humorous rant. In this poem, you may excoriate to your heart’s content all the things that get on your nerves. Perhaps it’s people who tailgate when driving, or don’t put the caps back on pens after they use them. Or the raccoons who get into your garbage cans. For inspiration, perhaps you might look to this list of Shakespearean insults. Or, for all of you who grew up on cartoons from the 1980s, perhaps this compendium of Skeletor’s Best Insults might provide some insight.
Happy eighteenth day of Na/GloPoWriMo, everyone.
Our featured participant for the day is The Coffee, The Diesel, The Methamphetamine, which provides us with a haunting, rhyming poem in response to our moon-based prompt for Day 17. It reminds me of this poem by Walter de la Mare!
And now for our (optional) daily prompt! This one comes to us from Stephanie Malley, who challenges us to write a poem based on the title of one of the chpaters from Susan G. Wooldridge’s Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words. The book’s table of contents can be viewed using Amazon’s “Look inside” feature. Will you choose “the poem squash?” or perhaps “grocery weeping” or “the blue socks”? If none of the 60 rather wonderful chapter titles here inspire you, perhaps a chapter title from a favorite book would do? For example, the photo on my personal twitter account is a shot of a chapter title from a P.G. Wodehouse novel — the chapter title being “Sensational Occurrence at a Poetry Reading.”
Welcome back, all, for the seventeenth day of Na/GloPoWriMo 2021. I hope you are looking forward to writing some poetry this weekend.
Today, our featured participant is A Writer Without Words, who wrote a tale of rodential woe in response to our Skeltonic verse prompt for Day 16.
Our reading for the day is a live event that will take place tomorrow, April 18, at 4 p.m. eastern daylight time. The reading will feature poets whose books have recently been published by the press Lavender Ink/Diálogos, which is one of the founding organizers of the New Orleans Poetry Festival.
And now, our (optional) prompt. I’ve seen some fairly funny twitter conversations lately among poets who are coming to terms with the fact that they keep writing poems about the moon. For better or worse, the moon seems to exert a powerful hold on poets, as this large collection of moon-themed poems suggests. Today, I’d like to challenge you to stop fighting the moon. Lean in. Accept the moon. The moon just wants what’s best for you and your poems. So yes – write a poem that is about, or that involves, the moon.
Happy Friday, everyone, and happy sixteenth day of Na/GloPoWriMo.
Today’s featured participant is Kyle M. Bondo, who penned an ode to his inherited inability to send back poorly-made restaurant food in response to our prompt for Day 15. You are not alone, Kyle. I think the entire population of the midwestern United States has this same issue.
Our featured reading for the day is another pre-recorded one, that can be enjoyed at your leisure. It’s a 2008 reading by the poet Ted Kooser, who won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for his poetry collection, Delights and Shadows.
And last but not least, our (optional) prompt. Because it’s Friday, today I’d like you to relax with the rather silly form called Skeltonic, or tumbling, verse. In this form, there’s no specific number of syllables per line, but each line should be short, and should aim to have two or three stressed syllables. And the lines should rhyme. You just rhyme the same sound until you get tired of it, and then move on to another sound. Here’s a short example I came up with.
A toad beneath a log
Cares not for storm or fog.
He’s not a bee or frog
Or a naïve polliwog.
No! He’s wise and bumpy.
His skin is thick and lumpy.
He doesn’t work for money.
And his disposition’s sunny.
Skeltonic verse is a fun way to get some words on the page without racking your brains for deep meaning. It’s a form that lends itself particularly well to poems for children, satirical verse, and just plain nonsense.
It’s hard to believe, but today marks the halfway point of Na/GloPoWriMo 2021! I hope the first half of the month has produced a sheaf of new poem drafts for you, and that you’re ready to harvest a crop of fifteen more.
Our featured participant for today is, again, two featured participants because I just couldn’t choose. First up, we have a Viking-themed musing from Plumb-Lines, and a mediation on names and identity from xanhaiku.
Today, we have two featured readings. One, which is a pre-recorded one, is an audio recording of Sylvia Plath, reading her poems way back in 1958. And the other is a live event that will take place today at 4 P.M. pacific time. Long-time Na/GloPoWriMo participant Vince Gotera will be reading in support of a new anthology published by Glass Lyre Press.
And now for our prompt (optional, as always). Today’s prompt comes to us from Juan Martinez. It asks you to think about a small habit you picked up from one of your parents, and then to write a piece that explores an early memory of your parent engaged in that habit, before shifting into writing about yourself engaging in the same habit.
You can see the original prompt (in quasi-cartoon form), along with a few other of Martinez’s prompts, here.
Welcome back, all, for the fourteenth day of Na/GloPoWriMo.
The featured participant for the day is Yodel! Yodel!, where the response to the “news article” prompt for Day 13 proposed a version of NaPoWriMo I think we all could get behind.
Our reading for the day is is another live event, which will take place tomorrow, April 15 at 7:30 p.m. eastern daylight time. Poet Hanif Abdurraqib will read live online from his 2019 book, A Fortune for Your Disaster.
And last but not least, our (optional) prompt for the day. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that delves into the meaning of your first or last name. Looking for inspiration? Take a look at this poem by Mark Wunderlich, appropriately titled “Wunderlich.”
Happy thirteenth day of Na/GloPoWriMo, everyone. I hope you have great luck with your writing today, despite the inauspicious date.
Today, our featured participant is . . . two featured participants, because I couldn’t pick just one. Here, in response to our “past and future” prompt, is unassorted stories‘ vertiginous poem that takes you from Ancient Greece up into the stars, and Selma‘s poem that lets you peek into the pulse of Marcus Claudius Marcellus, a consul and general of Rome.
Today, our featured reading is a live event that will take place tomorrow, April 14, at 7 p.m. eastern daylight time. Poet Mark Wunderlich will read via Zoom for the reading series at Bennington College.
And now, on to our (optional) prompt. Today’s prompt comes from the Instagram account of Sundress Publications, which posts a writing prompt every day, all year long. This one is short and sweet: write a poem in the form of a news article you wish would come out tomorrow.