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 26th Poetry Prompt
And now for our daily prompt (optional, as always). A couple of days ago, we played around with hard-boiled similes. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that contains at least one of a different kind of simile – an epic simile. Also known as Homeric similes, these are basically extended similes that develop over multiple lines. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they have mainly been used in epic poems, typically as decorative elements that emphasize the dramatic nature of the subject (see, by way of illustration, this example from Milton’s Paradise Lost). But you could write a complete poem that is just one lengthy, epic simile, relying on the surprising comparison of unlike things to carry the poem across. And if you’re feeling especially cheeky, you could even write a poem in which the epic simile spends lines heroically and dramatically describing something that turns out to be quite prosaic. Whatever you decide to compare, I hope you have fun extending your simile(s) to epic lengths.
April 26th Poem
26 April 2022
As rabbits dart from here to there
The foxes know their movements
The deer are stunned before they feel the bite of steel
As the hunters reload for the kill shot
If the prey could find a way to live in Zootopia
Then the predators would be unemployed, powerless, their biggest fear
Even size differences don’t equalize the outcomes
This even the smallest carnivore knows the numbers game wins
Very few animals hunt their young
Almost none eat their progeny
And those that do, we deem them animalistic
Our sympathies are nowhere to be found
There is no rehabilitation, no redemption for these beasts
And if we can’t consume them, they are laid to waste
Those who try to protect these species
Are seen as bleeding hearts
They are not taken seriously
We minimize them
And heaven forbid if their prey is tasty, or found to help our health
For then we will domesticate and annihilate
To the brink of extermination
Only to pat ourselves on the back
For saving them from our divine right
Oh how we are so humane
When dealing with those who act on their animalistic drives
Those who let the beast out and dine on their young
Do they not deserve the same disdain
We reserve for the most barbaric of the animal kingdom
Our religions tell us to forgive seventy times seven
Especially when the predator divines the holy to their herds
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