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 21st Poetry Prompt
Today’s (optional) prompt is one I got from the poet Betsy Sholl. This prompt asks you to write a poem in which you first recall someone you used to know closely but are no longer in touch with, then a job you used to have but no longer do, and then a piece of art that you saw once and that has stuck with you over time. Finally, close the poem with an unanswerable question.
April 21st Poem
21 April 2022
You were just a year older than I when we first met
And yet you seemed to have lived so much more than I
We joined the military during the times of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell
And when you left for boot camp, your girlfriend became mine
You were drummed out of the Navy
For showing your love for another man
Initially I felt betrayed that you never told me
I thought we were thick as thieves
And then I met a man in uniform
That poor girl didn’t have gay or bi-dar
When I left the military
We still kept in touch
Me working third shift at Kinko’s
And you bouncing around California
I was working on my degree and myself
You were working on your next conquest
After a few moves and some barnacle cleaning
I lost touch with you
One day I was walking through the Louvre
Not knowing what I really wanted to see
And there at the top of a staircase was Winged Victory
Armless Headless calming the sea
I thought of you, my friend from long ago
And wishing that you could have been there with me
Just like you were with me during our first show
Flying in scenery for Guys and Dolls
One of the only musicals I can tolerate
One of the many musicals you admire and know by heart
I’ve tried to look you up with all this technology at our fingertips
But to no avail
Wondering if the algorithm has something against us
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