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
People You Have Known: Make each line about different people you have met but lost contact with over the years. These could be old friends, passed-on family, etc.
No Longer In Communication
4 April 2023
To Jeff, you were the subject of my first attempt at poetry, four-line stanzas four stanzas long, all these words on paper and electrons floating throughout the universe hold the code that is you
To Katina, working with you at the movie theater was bliss, kissing you in the back of the shop with the lights off was magical, and hearing how you kept the baby of your rapist still angers me that you had to make that choice
Mike D, your family invited this stranger in, and for years you were that little brother that became successful, except you, couldn’t put that bottle down, so I put you down, that’s the way I detach and preserve my sanity
Kelly, the eyes are what I remember the most, the drunken nights and the way you brought other men to bed have been forgotten, but as you changed your ways and became a mother, your life was taken away, and now I can only guess where to send flowers
Mr. Hoppe, that stoic man, demanding that these rednecks produce a sound that the gods recognized our importance, you left for Arizona, I wanted to go with you, and I made it out there never to find you
Gordon Odegard Director, GOD for short, your breath stank of dog shit, but you inspired this kid to believe in something greater than religion, greater than science, you made me believe I could make a difference, and ensure that the audience could see the actors eyes
Albert, you probably wouldn’t have been proud of my stereo setup, but you would be proud of the impact of my music collection on our nephew, you gave me the love of music, good music, and showed me how to sing while driving, I wanted to come to your funeral, but I was working 80 hour weeks and had no reliable transportation
Tommy, my hippie grade school pal, sneaking off to your house to listen to KISS records and play with your toys was the first time I ran away from home, your spasms and outbursts have a name now, and my daughter has them, I hope you are alive, but I am too afraid to find out
To she that cannot be named, I was in a bad spot, you took advantage of it without knowing what you were doing, I wasn’t honest with you and to this day I am still not honest with others who wonder why we don’t speak, you will probably never read this and that is fair I wasn’t ready for a one night stand nor was I ready to be the lead singer of your brother’s death metal math prog band
To the Lt Col who took a long stroll off a short pier, what you inspired in me keeps fueling my work, I won’t stop until I can achieve half of what you have
To Moses, otherwise known as Mr. Heston, we don’t have latrines in the Air Force, we have full-service restrooms and please tip the towel boy on your way out, by the way, guns do kill people and your legacy is tied to the fools you would not suffer when you were alive
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