Daily Archives: April 1, 2023

NaPoWriMo 2023 Day 1


Poets, Start Your Engines

on APRIL 1, 2023

Our first featured participant is Flipped Serendipity

Our poetry resource for the day is What Sparks Poetry, a regular feature of Poetry Daily. In each article in the series, a different poet discusses the craft of writing, and provides a prompt.

NaPo Prompt:

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but they never said you can’t try to write a poem based on a book cover — and that’s your challenge for today! Take a look through Public Domain Review’s article on “The Art of Book Covers.” Some of the featured covers are beautiful. Some are distressing. Some are just plain weird (I’m looking at you, “Mr Sweet Potatoes”). With any luck, one or more of these will catch your fancy, and open your mind to some poetic insights.

© NaPoWriMo

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com


I started (as always) with the featured site poem. Then I looked at the poetry resource. What Sparks Poetry is a resource I could spend a life in! I actually spent quite a while with this one article before I even read Chris’ poem.

I clicked to read the latest issue. I am always fascinated to hear poets talk about the story behind the writing. I have to say it was the title of the poem which grabbed me (especially as you know titles are my kryptonite… which is also green)!

Although the water cycle is described beautifully in this article the extract I pinned to my heart was this;

I think the wilderness snowfields caught me. The article is a poetic work – the poem is a gritty powerhouse, an exploration of lust/love & loss. The striking story at the centre interweaved with the eco-poetry concept makes for fully embodied reading. Get ready to feel!

NaPo does it again, a new-to-me poet to add to my extremely long list of want-to-reads.

Chris Dombrowski is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently Ragged Anthem (Wayne State University Press, 2019), and two books of nonfiction, Body of Water and The River You Touch (Milkweed, 2016; 2022). He teaches in the MFA Program at the University of Montana.

RAGGED ANTHEM: by Chris Dombrowski.
Published by Wayne State University Press in March 2019.
Copyright © 2019 by Chris Dombrowski.

As always I have the site pinned to revisit in May (I will be editing), so maybe June… I always compile several documents over NaPo – one for resources/ another for websites/poets/poems and finally several filled with my own notes and poems.

I made a note of Dombrowski’s prompt to revisit after NaPo.

Finally I read the NaPo prompt and visited the site to select my book cover. I chose: Lord Dunsany. The Book of Wonder. London: William Heinemann, 1912

And although I battled against the instant thought to write about the wonder of webs – that is ultimately what happened. I toyed with the idea of creating something like the 7 Wonders and then a reveal that the wonder was actually a web, I then played with wonder in the Biblical sense of miraculous. In the end I gave in and free wrote. The initial poem was an A4 page and did include many of the wonder ideas which were speedily edited out. Then I worked on the format, 4 line stanzas, couplets… in the end I chose to use 4 line stanzas but not the same line breaks as the first 4 line draft.

Researching the poem I spent some time in the Natural History Museum website (no pun intended) and ended up watching a BBC video of time lapse web-making. I have an aversion to spiders so this was no mean feat.

I know the end result will be worked on and as I was writing I wasn’t sure that I was writing something to keep – but there’s silk in there to extract at some future point.

NaPoWriMo 2023 Early Bird


Calling All Early Birds

on MARCH 31, 2023

Happy Na/GloPoWriMo Eve, all! Tomorrow is April 1, and the official start of the twentieth year of the project. We can’t believe it’s been going on for so long. Its longevity is due to you all – the enthusiasm our participants bring to this yearly challenge is wonderful to see.

… This year, in honor of the 20th anniversary of Na/GloPoWriMo, we’ll be featuring a mix of prompts from our archives and brand-new challenges.

Today, we’d like to challenge you to write a poem that plays with the idea of a “fun fact.” Your fact could actually be fun – or the whole point could be that it’s not fun. Maybe you have a favorite wacky fact already, but if not, Mental Floss’s “Amazing Fact Generator” is here to help!

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

Process Notes:

My first amazing fact was:

A cough can propel saliva droplets as far as 20 feet at speeds up to 25 to 50 mph.

I knew the first part (length of a football pitch) but I didn’t feel inspired…

I LOVED my 2nd fact but have banked it for another time… along with feeling sorry for the people of Wyoming – unless of course they have an abundance of one storey buildings (I know there are lifts/ stairs/ alternatives).

And just as I began to worry that I was disappearing down my 1st NaPo rabbit hole — the universe delivered this!

A fist pump to the air – I knew I had my first prompt!

No more searching. Although randomisers are too much fun!

I copied the fact into a word doc. and prepared to free-write. The moment the document was loading I knew what I wanted to write about – now the subject of at least 4 of my poems. My late Godfather loved books, antique ones especially and for years every Christmas he’d arrive with a bottle and an old book. I kept them all of course but some are brittle with age and I fear further damage will occur so I have preserved them for now.

The poem is a 5 stanza free write – I edit in May – as is the NaPo way so I am sure it will change, but for now and for the first poem of the month, its bones are good!

From the fact I used:

grassy notes// Vanilla and underlying mustiness.

Which were the words which clung in my mind on first reading.


Finally I started to work on a title (titles are often work as opposed to thinking for me, I find them hard usually). I was holding the shroud in mind and know that the tradition is a simple white linen. Maybe because it’s Easter or possibly because the loss of my Godfather is fairly recent I thought about beliefs and the dead rising again. There is mention of future generations in the poem so it seemed fitting to call it – The World to Come – which may change to -World to Come – or may be lost in future writes entirely.

NaPoWriMo 2023


Are you ready?

I certainly wasn’t – late to submit AWF as a participants site, missed the Early Bird prompts and basically felt very unaware that today is the start of APRIL?! Where has this year gone already??

I am working full time so have limited time to slip on the poetry skin and write and seem to be surrounded by deadlines both at the desk, at work and in life generally.

So I am calmly entering the waters for my annual April splash about and as per will bring you the official NaPo prompts and posts about my process with a few teaser lines/words – as I rarely publish a full Napo poem on AWF. Every year my Napo poems find some success and many are published in anthologies, magazines and several in my own publications: Fragile Houses & Patience.

Catch up:

All information from napowrimo.net

Well… I wish I’d seen this one!

20 Years of Na/GloPoWriMo

on FEBRUARY 1, 2023

Hello, all! We’re getting ready to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Na/GloPoWriMo this April. Wow!

As usual, we’ll have a prompt every day for you, a featured participant, and this year, we’re also hoping to feature a book or chapbook every day that contains poems written during previous Na/GloPoWriMos. And to do that, we need your help! If you have a published book or chapbook containing poems that were initially drafted as part of Na/GloPoWriMo, please let us know about them by sending an email to napowrimonet-AT-gmail-DOT-com! We hope to show off a good cross-section of participants’ work this way.

We’ll be back on March 1 with some buttons and other information. In the meantime, please do send us links to your books and we hope you will start getting ready to flex your poem-writing-muscles this April.

NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo Is On The Way!

on MARCH 15, 2023

… why not check out some online prompt generators, like the one here, and the one here? Or if you’re looking for something a bit more strange to inspire you, maybe feed the URL for a random Wikipedia entry into The Eater of Meaning (an online program that “nonsensifies” the words of individual webpages. Some of the resulting phrases may give you inspiration for a poem!).

We’ll have some other poetry resources to share with you as March winds down, and we start gearing up for April in earnest. In the meantime, please remember that you can follow our prompts and other posts on Facebook and on Twitter (@napowrimo2023).

Just Three Days to Go!

on MARCH 29, 2023

… why not browse the Poetry Foundation’s online collection?

So Close You Can Almost Taste It

on MARCH 30, 2023

What does a poem taste like, we wonder? There’s a prompt for you right there!

With just two days to go, we are indeed on the brink, the precipice, the teetering edge of Na/GloPoWriMo. Luckily, if you fall over and in, all that happens is you wind up writing some poems. If you have to take a plunge, that’s really not so bad.

If you’re hungry for prompts in the meantime, Poets and Writers has a huge collection, which you can find here.

Click the next post links for the Early Bird Special and the start of NaPoWriMo 2023.

Happy Writing! x

A Quick Catch Up… and A Lot of News

Photo by Ali Karimiboroujeni on Pexels.com

Hello waters… it has been a long while! Lots has happened since the Autumn post. I am here to start 2023’s NaPoWriMo on AWF but realise that there are huge gaps of blogging and news to share. I will write on some of this in detail in May, after NaPo. Until then here are the highlights:

Blasts from the Past

At the end of 2022 I was busy working on a major project, a book endorsement and planning for 2023 WLFF Festival.

My ATOTC (A Tale of Two Cities -2017/18) project was reinstated in the summer of 2022. This was call & response poetry between poets in Worcester UK and Worcester USA as part of my Poet Laureate year. What started with the idea of an online international reading soon became a 2nd edition project with new pairings and new poems. The result was an International Reading AND a book!

The original project was anthologised digitally as it involved over 45 poets and ran to 120 pages, sadly it was too large a project to publish traditionally.

This time we worked with a smaller group of poets (20) and Black Pear Press published the resulting anthology — which I have to say is an absolute bargain, the cheapest poetry book I know of and that is NO reflection in quality either of the product or content within, it is packed with magnificent poetry. It is a not-for-profit publication and you will find it for £2.83 which converts to $3.58. See, told you!

With huge thanks to Black Pear Press and Polly Stretton for joining me on managing and editing ATOTC II.

Can’t wait for the full post? Find out more here including a link to buy a copy:

This weekend I am a Guest Reader for Brian Comber at his Book Launch. Last year I was delighted to get a sneak preview of this collection when I wrote an endorsement.

More details here.

I am involved in a project with WLFF, Bevere Gallery & Yew Tree Artist Studios who are running an exhibition of Art & Poetry with a competition linked to it, an open call to poets and artists in Worcestershire.

Five Worcestershire Poets Laureate & five artists were commissioned to work on the theme ‘Enough to See… but not enough to see by’.

Find out more in this article:


An anthology and a launch.

Anne-thology – Poems Re-Presenting Anne Shakespeare by Broken Sleep Books.

Last year I had great fun researching to write my submission for this anthology. We were limited to one poem, so I am delighted mine made it through. Packed with amazing poems, some great commissioned poets and it’s lovely to see lots of friends in there too… and of course, Will himself.

Later this month there’s an Anthology Launch in Stratford.

Find out more and order a copy here.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

And in other news – I have taken several bookings for 2023, several projects from last year are due publication and Mr. G and I got engaged! All good things are worth waiting for. I promise you.

Photo by Jasmine Carter on Pexels.com

Enjoy NaPoWriMo and I will update other news in May including more details on all of the above.

NaPoWriMo are celebrating 20 years!