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
Today, begin by reading Bernadette Mayer’s poem “The Lobelias of Fear.” Now write your own poem titled “The ________ of ________,” where the first blank is a very particular kind of plant or animal, and the second blank is an abstract noun. The poem should contain at least one simile that plays on double meanings or otherwise doesn’t quite make “sense,” and describe things or beings from very different times or places as co-existing in the same space.
The Vulture of Tolerance
27 April 2023
It doesn’t matter who we are
Or where we came from
Or what religion we subscribe to
How much money we made
How many people’s lives we have positively impacted
There is no difference in party allegiance
Gender or sexual orientation
If your socks match
If you are wearing underwear or prefer to go commando
If there is dirt under your fingernails
Or callouses on your palms
Or glitter nail polish that you let your children apply
If you are obese
Or suffer from a chronic disorder
Or suffer from too much of the chronic
Once your body is laid out in a field
You all taste the same to them
And no, you don’t taste like chicken
You are their food
And all that makes you, matters little to them
Your dreams and aspirations are just seasoning
They don’t care at all about anything you have done
You are what’s for dinner
Dark meat, light meat
Meat is meat
And when you are as ugly as they are
An easy meal is like going to the drive thru for them
So, cheer up
Be their happy meal
And make sure not to carry plastic toys in your pockets
Choking hazard ya know
Wouldn’t want to be the next meal
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