Daily Archives: April 8, 2018

NaPoWriMo 2018 Day 8


WOW! We made it to week 2.


Welcome back, everyone, for the second week of Na/GloPoWriMo! Congratulations to everyone who has made it so far and, if you’ve fallen off the poetry wagon, there’s plenty of time to clamber back aboard.

Our featured participant for the day is barbaraturneywielandpoetess, where the identity prompt for Day 7 resulted in a long-limbed prose poem full of sharp twists, turns, and myriad identities, all shining like fragments of a broken mirror.

Today’s craft resource is an oldie – Percy Bysshe Shelley’s essay A Defence of Poetry. Shelley basically thought poetry was magic and poets were wizards. While the language of the essay is a bit antiquated, it’s hard not to be infected by Shelley’s ecstatic enthusiasm about all things poetic.

And now for our prompt (optional, as always). Let’s take a leaf from Shelley’s book, and write poems in which mysterious and magical things occur. Your poem could take the form of a spell, for example, or simply describe an event that can’t be understood literally. Feel free to incorporate crystal balls, fauns, lightning storms, or whatever seems fierce and free and strange. Poetry is like that (at least when you’ve been reading Shelley!) If you’re in search of inspiration, maybe you’ll find it in this poem by Louis Untermeyer, or this one by Kathleen Graber.

Happy writing!


5ab39dd423e2c-bpfullThe Poetry School Day 8

Day 8: Dedication 

Today’s prompt is a simple one: I’d like you to write a poem for someone. It should be dedicated to them, and (if you like) speak to them as well. This is a lovely prompt because I get to share one of my favourite poems: ‘A Poem for Emily’ by Miller Williams.

I re-read this on Day 9 and get stuck on Shelley’s thought that Poets are Wizards, I love that. I can believe in this magic. Poetry can lift you from some particularly hard places. I have never forgotten the reaction of a lady last year to her Poetry on Demand at Lakefest Festival, alchemy certainly covered that transaction and some healing too.

I am inspired by this enlightening discovery, so will revisit this Napo prompt, I also know I am not ready to write that poem just yet it will sit and twist itself into my mind.

I fancied writing a dedication so I went with The Poetry School prompt today. In writing this poem I discovered a new phrase too.



Throw them back, you soothe,
you have all you need on this boat.

NaPoWriMo 2018 A Review of a Week of Poetry


Napo! Napo! Napo!

Well we have just completed the first week of poetry for NaPoWriMo and I am feeling positive about the daily writing. Being Worcestershire Poet Laureate is amazing but I would be lying if I said my own writing time hasn’t suffered. It needn’t have, I just decided to spend my year organising lots of events and opportunities for other writers and as far as my own progression through that time, it has been left organic.

My grey cells needed a few days to get used to the writing process again and I had to drag myself out of hiding in research.

What I love about NaPo is the optional prompts I attempt to follow often reveal offshoot ideas which I am banking for a quieter time. A notebook page is filling up nicely, I can only imagine what it might look like by the end of the month.

So at the end of a week in Napoland what have I got other than this fun new jpeg?

WPL Wordle 3 Napo small.png

A desk full of poems.

From Day 1:

Best Before (a poem about secret shame)

The Sea Jewel (John Harrison) which has since had editing circle treatment and promises to be a good finished piece sometime in the future. Plus I have now written many poems about Historical figures, a future pamphlet maybe.

Resources: A list of trivia prompts for the future and a short list of secret shames & pleasures.


From Day 2:

The Home at Christmas (a poem which links to work I have written on Dementia for a current PoArtry project, this poem has also received editing circle treatment and I hope one day will have stanzas all as strong as the final stanza, which is already one of those POW moments!

Apology (a humorous performance poem)

Resources: An article of Poetic I

Website for wordles


From Day 3:

Bring Me The Shoes (a quirky performance poem/list poem)

Several Wordle Band Name/poems


From Day 4:

Pudding Protest (a coupling written for the Suffragette Poetry Anthology project using a workshop prompt I created)

From Day 5:

In the Park (A translation poem)

Resources: A collection of black and white photographs and a whole list (website) of poetry in translation.


From Day 6:

Picking Blackberries (A poem about Dementia which uses long lines from Poetic Lines Napo prompt and part of the writing I am doing for the PoARTry Project)

Resources: Alberto Ríos’s article on the Poetic Line


From Day 7:

The Teacher and the Poet Are Not the Same (Working title)

So considering I have fallen 2 days behind due to real life poetry work, I have managed 7 poems and a few wordles, a stack of ideas to be used in the future and some great craft resources.



I picked Day 6 & 7 up on Day 9. Just Day 8 & 9 to go and I will be back on track!

NaPoWriMo 2018 Day 7


Late posting yesterday’s prompts as I was out all day poeting and managed to finally catch Idle Women during the 2nd year of their tour – more on that later.


I took paper out to create poems yesterday but didn’t have a moment spare to do so. I find myself in the inevitable position of falling behind. This is okay, Napo is a marathon in which you are only racing against yourself.

Back to Day 7 then…


Look at that! We’re now a whole week into Na/GloPoWriMo.

Our featured participant for the day is The Great Unknown, where the line-breaking poem for Day 6 starts off in breathless prose before breaking into a series of sharp, descending lines.

Today we have a new interview, this time with Kyle Dargan, whose fifth book of poetry, Anagnorisis, is being published later this year by Triquarterly/Northwestern University Press. The title of the book, a Greek word that refers to “a startling discovery that produces a change from ignorance to knowledge,” is a good lens through which to view Dargan’s poems, which braid extended metaphors and historical and current world events together to make metaphysical and moral claims in verse. You can read some of Dargan’s recent poems here and here, and our interview with him here.

And now for our (optional) prompt. In our interview, Kyle Dargan suggests writing out a list of all of your different layers of identity. For example, you might be a wife, a grandmother, a Philadelphian, a dental assistant, a rabid Phillies fan, a seamstress, retiree, agnostic, cancer survivor, etc.. These are all ways you could be described or lenses you could be viewed through. Now divide all of those things into lists of what makes you feel powerful and what makes you feel vulnerable. Now write a poem in which one of the identities from the first list contends or talks with an identity from the second list. This might turn out to be kind of a “heavy” exercise, emotionally, but I hope you will find the results enlightening.

Happy writing!



I have completed a list like this before from a Mindful exercise. Back in 2012 though so I no longer have the list. Looking forward to adding ‘poet’.

5ab39dd423e2c-bpfullThe Poetry School Day 7

Day 7: Never Leave a Poem Behind

Anyone who’s been writing poetry for more than a few days and has a healthy amount of self-doubt has i) a notebook’s worth of abandoned first lines that never went anywhere, and ii) a smaller group of poems that they finished, but which are rubbish. We’re going to go back and rescue them.

To repeat: for this activity, you will require 1 x abandoned first line, and 1 x terrible completed poem.

That abandoned first line or phrase? That’s now the last line or phrase of your new poem. It’s something to work towards.

But what about the first line? That’s where the awful finished poem comes in. The last line of that awful poem will be the first line of your new poem. Why?

Well, a lot of awful poems are awful because they finish on a note of certainty and finality — starting with the end will force you to dig deeper, and move beyond obvious answers.


An interesting prompt and one I certainly have enough material to harvest from.

On Day 9 I played catch up and re-visited these prompts. I opted for the Napo one and wrote two incredibly short lists under the headings of Powerful and Vulnerable and knew as soon as I got to my 6th idea where the match between these was. I wrote about my Teacher self and the Poet who was always there but had become neglected, then forgotten.

It is a powerful, personal poem – so not necessarily one that will see the light of day and it is so rough you could tear yourselves on the edges. But as I only leave a line, these thoughts are of no concern really other to show you that writing rough is not the same as writing rubbish and both are acceptable during NaPoWriMo, especially if you are playing catch-up and writing more than one poem a day. This is not to say I am not striving for excellence, of course I am. I dream of writing that poem and occasionally I manage it!

The rose-tinted screen –

Suffragettes Anthology


Suffragettes Anthology

Poet Laureate

HIVE SUFFBack in February there was a Suffragette Exhibition at The Hive in Worcester. I took the opportunity to provide an impromptu poetry workshop based on the Library Exhibits. 12 people attended and a few more visited the exhibition and wrote from the workshop prompts and research links I shared. Here is a selection of the resulting work. 

00 x 61.tif© Museum of London

Deeds Not Words 
Inspired by Emily Wilding Davison,
Suffragette, died June 8th, 1913
Dear Joan of Arc,
my wreath left at your feet
marks you undefeated.
Your spark lives on,
igniting the tinder of my resolve.
Sisters, Women’s Social Political Union,
stand up now,
sacrifice now.
I pledge today, Derby Day,
will turn heads
against blind-gendered minds
with our vision against division.
You will see.
You will be proud.
If I’m arrested they’ll say,
About her person was:
Two flags
One purse
One half…

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Open Submissions – Science Poems


Wanted your Science based poems.
Submission call.

Poet Laureate

ted © TED


Last month I posted about poetry with Maths/Science basis in memory of  Stephen Hawking. 

I told you to watch out for news of it in April and here it is. 

paper-3160167_1920OPEN SUBMISSION CALL Science/ Stephen Hawking based Poetry.

The collection will appear on this website in June worcestershirepoetlaureateninalewis.wordpress.com/poetry

You are free to submit any poem you feel relevant to this call. Some people like prompts/stimuli, so here are some articles.





http://iheartintelligence.com/2016/01/22/stephen-hawking-advice/pexels-photo-110854.jpegSUBMISSION GUIDELINES

Failing to follow submission guidelines guarantees work will not be accepted so please read them carefully. 

Your poems should be based on Science/ Maths/ Stephen Hawking.

Previously unpublished.

We do not consider simultaneous submissions, i.e. work that is being considered elsewhere.

Work should be 40 lines max.

You may send up to 3 poems.

All poems need a title.

We cannot accept expletive language/content.

Due to copyright issues we cannot accept work with…

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