Poetry Writing Month – because what I needed was another writing challenge…

In 1996, the Academy of American Poets nominated the month of April every year as National Poetry Month, a month in which poets, booksellers, schools, and various other literary organisations come together to celebrate poetry and its importance to American culture.

Since 2003, in this very same month, a challenge known as National Poetry Writing Month (or NaPoWriMo for short…yes, it’s based roughly on the structure of National Novel Writing Month) has been held, in which participants are to write a poem every day for the full 30 days of the month. You don’t have to put these poems online, by any means, although you most certainly can post them online if you want to, and the whole thing is free and highly flexible. For those looking for more information, the website can be found here: http://www.napowrimo.net/

Like NaNoWriMo, NaPoWriMo of course extends beyond its national borders, as anybody around the world can do it. And so, despite my relative isolation down here on this giant, funny shaped and generally dangerous island called Australia, and also despite the other writing challenges currently eating away my time, such as my 12 Novellas challenge, I will be entering NaPoWriMo next month, and writing a poem a day. Will I be publishing them online? I haven’t decided yet (but with less than 4 days left of March I’d better hurry up). But I will be most certainly posting a few poetry related blogs up, including continuing my On Poetry series of blogs which will now delve into specific poetic forms (if you missed them, Part 1 can be found here, and dealt with a few general thoughts about poetry, and Part 2 can be found here, and looked at some great books of poetry to help inspire you). I will also still be posting my usual book reviews and general bookish ramblings, as well.

It's not that scary once you give it a go, I promise...

Whether you love poetry and read and write it regularly, or you loathe it, or are simply too unsure of how to even approach it, let alone write it, I urge you all to consider giving this a go. It should be quite a lot of fun, and once you’ve written the first few poems you’ll find them coming to you quicker and quicker. Poetry is an often misunderstood form of expression, but like with many things, the best way to learn is to plunge straight into the deep end.

So, will you be joining me in this lunacy? (Please say yes…)

20 thoughts on “Poetry Writing Month – because what I needed was another writing challenge…

    • Oooh, haikus are fun. I will definitely be doing some haikus – I normally like to write three or four together, all exploring the same thing. I usually tend to go for unconventional themes with my haikus too, and I don’t really know why, but it’s something one of my old lecturers pointed out once.
      Anyhu, you could do a haiku a day? It’s only three lines, right 😛 And it doesn’t have to be perfect poems, I mean I’ll be probably scribbling mine down and just finishing them as quickly as possible, and perfecting the better ones some time after April. But yeah, if you get involved in any way I’d love to see what you come up with! 🙂

    • That’s a fantastic idea; I hadn’t thought about haikus before shrinking from the idea of writing a poem each day. Maybe I will participate in this challenge…. a haiku a day?

      • Hahaha, yeah, I should have suggested it in the blog itself really, shouldn’t I? But yes, there’s absolute nothing wrong with writing a Haiku a day, or even a limerick a day! I will definitely be writing some Haikus, so yeah, definitely give it a go! 🙂

    • Hooray! I thought of you (among a couple of others) when I wrote this, so I was hoping you would join in, actually! 🙂
      And meh, every poet writes some poems that are complete crap 😛 All my poems are complete crap, I’m certain of it, hahaha. I’ll post all of mine if you post all of yours…. 😛 Your poems are really good anyway, at least the ones I have seen. But at any rate, awesome to know at least one other person is doing this with me.

    • Yeah, I’ve got to admit it will take a lot of discipline on my part to do it – I need to make sure I write one every day, rather than leaving them all until the end. Especially considering April will be my catchup month for some of my unfinished novellas I’m writing for the 12 Novellas challenge…thank goodness I have a couple of weeks off work in April otherwise I’d really be stuffed.
      Let me know if you do write any 🙂 As I’ve said to others, they can be as small as you like, the poems – nothing wrong with writing 30 Haikus if that’s all time will allow. 🙂

  1. Well, this would break up the monotony of my 15-Day Challenge, and as it has been on my mind perhaps I shall join you. Thinking——won’t take up much time, we don’t have to share if we don’t choose…I just maybe———oh, why not? 😀

    • Hooray, another one on board! 😀 It will be fun. And yeah, that’s exactly right, you don’t have to share, so ultimately it’ll be between just you and the paper (or screen). I will probably do a weekly round-up at the end of each week (conveniently April starts on a Sunday), so I might include one or two of my better (or worse, even) poems in each of the weekly round-ups. Still deciding about that, really.
      Anyway, it should be fun – I always find writing large amounts of poetry like this quite fun and often quite cathartic, in a completely different way to writing prose. 🙂

      • Very cathartic indeed
        I’m definitely getting excited
        Over my poetry need (This isn’t supposed to sound good so no one worry please :P)

        I re-blogged this post with the comment, “Why reblog this? Because April is soon upon us, and who doesn’t love poetry in some form!”

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