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
Uncertainty: Think about a time in your life when you couldn’t make a decision and write based on this.
Two of Swords
3 Feb 2023
When opening the deck for the first time
You couldn’t wait to identify me
So, you tumbled out and landed on the ground first
Pushing aside all the other cards
You knew me before I knew me
I read the future of others
Gave them advice with your tutelage
But nothing for me
No vision of what was to come
Just the two of swords
And the reflection of indecision
Standing outside a hotel room
The night before we were to be wed
My soon-to-be betrothed was asleep, snoring
And me smoking and thinking about what was next
Do I grab a cab and never darken the commonwealth’s door
Tell Old Dominion that it will not have my soul again
Yes, I stayed
Yes, I was wed to my betrothed
Yes, I added to the population
Yes, I voted blue to make us more purple
And on my weak and battered arm
I have placed you
My card of indecision
My card that holds me back
That feeds my insecurities
You are a part of me
Making me an expert of second-guessing
But you don’t stop me like you used to
Or maybe I don’t let you stop me
Maybe I give you some time
To dance in my insomnia
But your influence is short-lived
And I push forward
Finally, out of your grasp
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