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 3rd Poetry Prompt
And now for our (optional) prompt. This one is a bit complex, so I saved it for a Sunday. It’s a Spanish form called a “glosa” – literally a poem that glosses, or explains, or in some way responds to another poem. The idea is to take a quatrain from a poem that you like, and then write a four-stanza poem that explains or responds to each line of the quatrain, with each of the quatrain’s four lines in turn forming the last line of each stanza. Traditionally, each stanza has ten lines, but don’t feel obligated to hold yourself to that!
April 3rd Poem
To Tallulah Belle
Exhausting our hearts to their last desires,
They both shall be like unto two glowing coals,
Reflecting the twofold light of their fires
Across the twin mirrors of our two souls.
Charles BAUDELAIRE The Death of The Lovers, The Flowers of Evil
Upon my furry chest
Emblazoned in ink and blood
Resides our spirit animals
Penned by a former student
Who has found her hearts desire
Above my heart
If you shave away the layers of hair
I have made my declaration eternal
Until we have
Exhausted our hearts to their last desires
When we found each other
I was not ready to surrender
Not knowing what it meant
This elusive feeling
I needed to take more time to discover
Who I really was
The fire burned in me all those years between
Until the day we found each other again
And the words unspoken on our day
They shall both be like unto two glowing coals
The hue of our feelings did not match
I used suspicion, unhealthy introspection and lust
To fuel the flames of what I called love
This had never worked in the past
But for some self-sabotaging reason
I thought, as taught by those who I modeled
That this would supply me with enough emotion
Until we both entwined our inner flames
And merged into a fire that the gods could be blinded by
Reflecting the twofold light of our fire
You have claimed your name
After years of hiding behind a pseudonym
And I have claimed the love you give
Without reservation or investigation
This led us to try the unthinkable
Raising a family where agreement rises above argument
Where the love we learned (and still learn) to combine
Is fueled by that which we haven’t known
In the eyes of our offspring, we see shadows of our old selves
Across the twin mirrors of our souls
To reach out to me, email firstname.lastname@example.org I would love to hear about your journey and what you are working on. If you would like to be on the show or have me discuss a topic that is giving you trouble write in and let’s start that conversation.