Create Art Podcast NaPoWriMo2023 Poetry Prompt April 17, 2023

Poetry Prompt April 17, 2023

top half books with a sign sticking up displaying the word poetry, bottom half logo for podcast and title card

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

Signs of the Times: How has a place you are familiar with changed over the past 10 years? 

Pacifying Uptown 

14 April 2023 

I lived in this neighborhood for a year or so 

Top floor, facing south, seeing Wrigley Field from a distance 

Two blocks from the Green Mill 

And the Red Line El 

Someone in the neighborhood had rescue greyhounds 

They would walk them around 

Stop for coffee and water at the local Starbucks 

The one that had a drive by when I was with my girl at the time 

A great Mexican restaurant that was open late 

Due to all the bars in the area 

Grabbing my first real horchata  

And just steps from Montrose Beach 

But I moved away 

To be with my wife 

To start a new life 

But I can’t let go of the place 

So I signed up for the Uptown Facebook group 

And I get notifications daily 

The Uptown Theater that had been closed for decades 

Being revamped and reopened 

Meaning that the bookstore next door 

Had to clean up its act or move out 

That bookstore stank of cigarettes and cat piss 

 Is no longer there 

Not able to get enough Chantix to quit their habit 

Not able to keep up with the bigger bookstores  

That closed down before I left 

I miss this place 

Even though I wasn’t there that long 

Moving through the crowds 

And having my doc just a few blocks away 

Having my dentist who played the rat Packs greatest hits 

And picked up conversations started months in-between visits 

I didn’t have to drive anywhere 

Even to get groceries 

Jewel, pronounced with an S at the end 

Again, was mere steps away 

But now they have changed the feeling 

They have changed the stores 

The rents have gone through the roof 

Now there is no one there I know 

The shops don’t have the same feel 

Even the thugs that did the drive by have moved away to the burbs 

I’d never move my family back there 

It would be cost prohibitive 

It would be safer than when I lived there 

But it isn’t the same space 

It isn’t as special as it used to be 

Its tame and expensive 

And the reason why I lived there  

Was not for safety, was not for being tame 

I wanted to have excitement 

I wanted to have stories to tell 

I wanted different things than I do now 

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