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 Espresso 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 17th Poetry Prompt
And now here’s our daily (optional) prompt. This is a fun one – it’s a prompt developed by the comic artist Lynda Barry, and it asks you to think about dogs you have known, seen, or heard about, and then use them as a springboard into wherever they take you.
April 17th Poem
17 April 2022
The first and only canine that allowed me to be their caretaker for a short while
While we were staying at the parsonage because my father couldn’t hold a job
You were eternally happy, and I was not the kindest soul at the time
This was an effort by my father to spite my mother
Just another one of their never-ceasing battles
He knew she was allergic to pet dander
And he wanted someone to show him, unconditional love
But it was up to me to feed, clean the mess and walk you
It pained me that we had to keep you in the basement
Watching you run up the stairs as I left for school
Hearing you scratching at the door all night during storms
But because I was afraid of the dark I never came to your rescue
I don’t remember asking for a pet
As I knew this domicile was temporary
But there we were, and you came into our lives
Nipping my father’s fingers
Licking my face for hours
You were the only friend at the time
And then one day after school you were gone
My brother said I left the basement door open
And you escaped sometime during the day
But the locks were still in place and the screen door was rusted shut
So, I took my beating that night
In the shadow of the church that housed us
We named you after a minor prophet in the Old Testament
One of the shortest books in the bible
It wouldn’t have mattered if I had known you were released to fend for yourself
There wasn’t much this 12-year-old could do to keep you alive
And I played stupid when one of the kids at school
Told me about a stray dog that his family had taken in
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