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.
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…)