Tag Archives: Aimee Nezhukumatathil

NaPoWriMo 2021 Day 23


Day Twenty-Three Click here for the full post.

Featured Participants – Donna M. Day, who brings us a lovely meditation on kiwi fruit, and Judy Dykstra-Brown, who has basically written us a country music song.

Our daily featured reading is a live event scheduled for tomorrow, April 24, at 7 p.m. eastern time. Poets Martha CollinsLaura CronkRebecca Morgan FrankNathan McClainAimee Nezhukumatathil, and Elizabeth Lindsey Rogers will read for the COUPLET Reading Series at New York City’s storied KGB Bar.

Prompt: Sometimes, reading another poet’s work gives me an idea or image. And sometimes I read a poem that I want to formally respond to… write a poem that responds, in some way, to another. This could be as simple as using a line or image from another poem as a jumping-off point, or it could be a more formal poetic response to the argument or ideas raised in another poem. You might use a favorite (or least favorite poem) as the source for your response. And if you’re having trouble finding a poem to respond to, here are a few that might help you generate ideas: “This World is Not Conclusion,” by Peter Gizzi, “In That Other Fantasy Where We Live Forever,” by Wanda Coleman, “La Chalupa, the Boat,” by Jean Valentine, or “Aubade: Some Peaches, After Storm,” by Carl Phillips.

Happy writing!

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com


Featured participants – Kiwi Fruit by Donna M Day was such a moving poem, as small as a kiwi fruit with all the punch of the bite. Deeply touched.

Cowboy on an Off-White Charger by Judy Dykstra-Brown comes from a blog already in my Reader. When I read the task – Prompt words today are dusty boots, monotonous, ambit, speed and queen. The NaPoWriMo prompt today discussed different poetic devices. I decided to try to use metonymy, polysemy, synecdoche and metalepsis in one poem- I’m amazed a poem came out in just 3 short stanzas!

Next I went to look at the reading event and fell down an Eventbrite size rabbit hole, I was gone for some time! I have been to readings with Rebecca Morgan Frank before and would love to make this event but Midnight -2AM (BST) on Sunday night may not be feasible. There are a lot of poets I don’t know reading, which is exciting.

Today’s prompt includes some tried and tested workshop methods, I decided to investigate the poetry examples linked and see which settled with me. After reading the 4 poems and stepping around carefully burrowed rabbit holes* I chose my starting point.

*I set a 10 minute alarm for each search activity – otherwise I would have spent an entire morning chasing threads.

I chose ‘It seems like another life:’ from La Chalupa, the Boat, by Jean Valentine as a springboard to jump off from. I used a notebook to write today (mainly because I crashed the word doc file), but also because it was sunny and I had a coffee and it seemed the garden was calling!

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It was the right decision to write off screen* – I am fairly pleased with the first draft outcome, which uses a refrain and plays with punctuation as a tool for changing gears.

‘time was measured in four-hourly frames’

*I used to use notebooks ALL the time and then type up, but I was generating so much writing that there wasn’t time to type it all. Edits were messy to the point of unreadable etc. and I naturally morphed into writing at the desk straight onto the document. Lockdown put an end to that (mainly because the screen was hosting events, but also because I am the proud possessor of 18 years worth of collected too-pretty-to-use notebooks and I thought this was the rainy day (understatement) they had been waiting for…

Range cute – practical – too pretty

and book by book, (I spent pleasure time choosing the next one) I wrote notes and scribbled poems and didn’t have to worry about the shops being shut or not being able to afford to buy new paper, I had it all here. So for the past 13 months I have been writing in notebooks, except for NaPo which has been on screen.

NaPoWriMo 2018 Day 12



Welcome back, everyone, for another day of poetry, poetry, poetry!

Today, our featured participant is woody and johnny, where the “future self” poem for Day Ten is a cosmic confection.

Our craft resource for the day is an essay by Aimee Nezhukumatathil on writing haibun – a Japanese form that blends prose-based travel writing with haiku.

Today’s (optional) prompt picks up from our craft resource. We’ve challenged you to tackle the haibun in past years, but it’s such a fun one, we couldn’t resist again. Today, we’d like to challenge you specifically to write a haibun that takes in the natural landscape of the place you live. It may be the high sierra, dusty plains, lush rainforest, or a suburbia of tiny, identical houses – but wherever you live, here’s your chance to bring it to life through the charming mix-and-match methodology of haibun.

Happy writing!

In past years I have learnt new (to me) forms through NaPoWriMo, like the Golden Shovel. A haibun is a form I have written before.

In case you haven’t, here’s how.

  • Combining prose poem and haiku.
  • Avoid personal pronouns I, or first-person possessive adjectives (my and mine).
  • Focus on sensory detail.
  • The turn (3rd line of prose poem element).

Though Bashō coined the word haibun, the form as it is today existed in Japan as prefaces and mini-lyric essays even before the seventeenth century (when Bashō first popularized the form). After his famous journey to Mutsu, he crafted a sort of guideline to the form in order to plunge deeper into the aware (pronounced ah-WAR-ay) spirit of haiku. Thus, another important feature of the haibun is not simply to provide a writer a shape in which to jot mundane musings of landscape and travel but also to evoke that sense of aware—the quality of certain objects to evoke longing, sadness, or immediate sympathy. © Academy of American Poets


I wrote a haibun about where I live mixing nature & urban.

It is hard to imagine this street without windows and doors, 

5ab39dd423e2c-bpfullThe Poetry School Day 12

Day 12: Poem Beginning with a Line By…

Today’s task is to write a poem beginning with a line by someone else. There’s a long tradition of these, and they’re a good way of paying homage to a poet or poem you love, but they also work simply as a jumping off point to talk about something else entirely. You can find loads of examples simply by Googling ‘poem beginning with a line by’, the most famous of which are poems borrowing lines from Frank Lima, Pindar and Wittgenstein. Today’s example poem ‘Poem beginning with two lines by André Breton‘ by Peter Sirr.

I have written a poem starting with a borrowed line in workshops before. It is usually a way of taking a poem to a place it may otherwise never have ended up. I like this prompt and am back at work next week (and already concerned I may not be able to keep up with NaPo), so banking a few extra when I have time gives me a safety net.

The hardest thing about this form is choosing the poem to begin with.


I decided to start with internet intentionally looking for a poet I am not familiar with. I decided to go ahead with my Dementia themed work and chose Losing Solomon by Sean Nevin https://100.best-poems.net/losing-solomon.html. I didn’t read the entire poem until I had written mine. I just used the first line;

Things seem to take on a sudden shimmer

During my research on Dementia I discovered people can misconceive the floor as water, or that it is wet (mopped over), I imagine more like 8 inches of water with some furniture floating. The poem covers a few misperceptions.

There is a man standing in the corner of the room,
up to his ankles in water, brogues soaked through.