History of National Poetry Writing Month
National Poetry Writing Month (also known as NaPoWriMo) is a creative writing project held annually in April in which participants attempt to write a poem each day for one month. NaPoWriMo coincides with the National Poetry Month in the United States of America and Canada.
NaPoWriMo, or National Poetry Writing Month, is an annual project in which participating poets attempt to write a poem a day for the month of April.
This website is owned and operated by Maureen Thorson, a poet living in Washington, DC. Inspired by NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month), she started writing a poem a day for the month of April back in 2003, posting the poems on her blog. When other people started writing poems for April, and posting them on their own blogs, Maureen linked to them. After a few years, so many people were doing NaPoWriMo that Maureen decided to launch an independent website for the project.
My History with National Poetry Writing Month
I started writing poetry in 1988 after I had been exposed to T.S. Elliot in my honors English class in high school. In 1992 I started reading my poetry publicly at Espesso Europia Coffee Shop in Abilene Tx while I was in the United States Air Force. This continued for many years when I ran my own poetry reading at Cannova’s in Loves Park Illinois and attended the poetry slams at The green Mill in Chicago Illinois. While living in Rockford Illinois I published my first book of poetry Throwing Yourself at the Ground and Missing in 2007 followed by Postcards From Someone You Don’t Know in 2008 Wisdom From the Sack in 2010 and Shaving Crop Circles In My Chest Hair in 2017. You can get copies of all of these books in my merch section. In 2009 I started participating in National Poetry Writing Month which became the basis for my book Wisdom From the Sack and Shaving Crop Circles in My Chest Hair. In 2020 I started publishing my podcast version of the challenge and those can be viewed here for 2020 and here for 2021.
April 15th Poetry Prompt
Finally, here’s our daily (optional) prompt. This one may seem counter-intuitive, but today I’d like to challenge you to write a poem about something you have absolutely no interest in. This isn’t quite the same, I think, as something you’re indifferent to. For example, I have absolutely no interest in investment strategy. Anytime anyone tries to tell me about it, I want to put my fingers in my ears and go “lalalalalala.” My brain tries to shut down! This is honestly kind of funny, and I think this prompt has value precisely because it invites you to investigate some of the “why” behind resolutely not giving two hoots about something.
April 15th Poem
Dante’s Eighth Circle
15 April 2022
As a father
I have changed hundreds of diapers
Have scraped poop off walls
Have had to change out the bathwater mid bath
For those who are just learning how to control their bladder
But I have no wish
To look up people’s poop chutes
Or one-eyed spitting snakes
In order to relieve their agony
Peering through urine
Or rummaging through dookie
Never tripped my trigger
Never made me feel horny
If you like golden showers
Or scat play
Enjoy yourselves to the fullest
Just keep more than the standard 6 feet away
I never shake the hand of my urologist
And I never would do it with my proctologist
And I know they are needed
Kidney stones and prostate health are important
But if I was the last person on Earth
And to save your life I needed to catch the yellow river
Or wade through your skid marks
I’d happily write your eulogy
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