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 National Poetry Month in the United States of America and Canada.
This website is owned and operated by Maureen Thorson, a poet living in Washington, DC. Inspired by NaNoWriMo, 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. 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 2020 I started publishing my podcast version of the challenge and those can be viewed here for 2020 and here for 2021.
What I am doing differently for Poetry Month
For 2023 I am not going to be just writing poems in April, I will be writing poems all year round. Also, since I will be writing all year round, I am using a different source for my prompts. There is a blog called Think Written and you can find it here. I will also be performing these works at Katora Coffee House here in Fredericksburg Virginia on their Friday Night Snaps Open Mic Poetry reading. Some of the podcast episodes you will hear will be a live recording of me reading the poem to a live audience, other times I will be reading it in the comfort of my home studio. I do plan on posting my work to the NaPoWriMo site and interacting with the poets there and see if they want to read their work on this podcast.
Todays Poetry Prompt
Sound of Silence: Take some inspiration from the classic Simon & Garfunkel song and describe what silence sounds like.
10 April 2023
Laying down, ready for sleep
The fan is set for high (even in the winter)
And the music is set for introspection through jazz
Drowning out the usual high-pitched squeal that has become my swan song
I am prepared to enter the ethereal lands
Being alone with my thoughts
Is the quickest way to insanity
The voices that plagued my mother
Descend with vengeance
Ready to eliminate any respite shown me
Nightly I sonically excavate
The landscapes of my awake and sleeping mind
Reliving mistakes I have made
And paying for them dearly
In ways only my mind can torture me
One moment would be nice
To be able to turn off the thoughts and dreams
To not think, fear, be anxious
Just that total blankness of a new sheet of paper
Or an empty canvas
I do not afford myself such luxuries
But to have that one moment
Where nothing comes in or goes out
Would only fuel the idea
That my brain is flawed
That the internal demons
Who wanted to silence this voice
Have won the war against me
There will be no peace in our time
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