I think I may have realised why I enjoyed this year’s NaPo so much, other than 20 years of rich resource pickings… it was the luxury of writing. All previous NaPoWriMo experiences were during my freelance years, where I may not have paid the mortgage with poetry funds but I was free to write. Now in this economic downturn I am working full time and writing/desk time is golden (and rare). 30 days of prompts gave me a chance to re-invest. It has spurred me on to balancing/ managing to keep the words coming!
I am going to share the final featured poem and Maureen’s message at the end of this post – but first let me share some highlights from this fabulous poetry month!
Favourite Poetry Resource or Prompt Based Websites:
Mental Floss’s Amazing Fact Generator
What Sparks Poetry, a regular feature of Poetry Daily
Jacket2 online magazine.
Poetry Northwest’s online collection of essays
Jordan Stempleman’s A Common Sense Reading Series
and finally – Wacky Poem Life
Perfect for Any Occasion by Alberto Rios
Index by Kell Connor
The Lobelias of Fear by Bernadette Mayer
A Boy Can Wear a Dress by John Bosworth
© Kyla Harrison
In the Season of Pink Ladies by Sayuri Ayers
One Boy Told Me by Naomi Shihab Nye
The List of Famous Hats by James Tate
The Melon by Charles Simic
Favourite Research Findings/ Discoveries
From rabbit holes of joy to first click treasures, I’ve listed my favourite from NaPo 2023 here:
Overheard lines – sources were several different sites, but final starting point for my poem was this one.
The BIG read – when my indecisiveness led to reading many poems by; John Donne, Carol Ann Duffy, Rita Dove, Dorothy Parker, Sylvia Plath, Jericho Brown, Pascale Petit, Philip Larkin and Caroline Bird.
Spending an hour reading jokes!
This wondrous collection from the Digital Photography School.
A delve into plants which led me to discover;
Banana Legs (Tomato), Sea Beet and Honesty.
Reading at least 20 Emily Dickinson poems in one sitting.
Creating my nerdy table of animal/plant and abstract nouns to play with after NaPo.
Another place I have found joy this month was in the posts of people discovering NaPoWriMo for the first time. This is my 8th (or possibly 9th year) – it was one of the few things I could do in my postoperative year of hell, (2019) when I was on so much medication I didn’t feel human. A big year which resulted in the diagnosis of several chronic (lifelong) illnesses and my entire life changed. I was able to do just 3 or 4 poetry projects (as opposed to 100s) and NaPo was one of them.
How Maureen Thorson manages to do it every year! Kudos!
There were also some stunning featured poems written this month – I’m hesitant to include a list as I know it may cause offense to those not on it – all the work is linked up in napowrimo.net and in the NaPo posts here on AWF. Poetry is subjective, tastes vary, readers bring different lives to our poems, that’s why our poems are rejected by editors and publishers sometimes. And they are NaPo poems, not yet edited and polished and sometimes the prompts led us to rather strange little poems. It was a lovely exercise reading all the featured poems again. Here is the list of poems which spoke to me:
Featured Poems by Participants
Let me Dream Please from Words With Ruth (Triolets are hard).
Keep Dancing from Lyndyh
An Incomplete List of Places I Have Cried from Poems by Sidra
Prismojen from To Create…
Untitled (My Grandmother Would Tell Me) from Words & Words
A Lecture at the Cephalopod Academy from Clayandbranches (scroll down to Day 20)
And huge thanks again to Maureen for featuring my chapbook as a Day 28 Poetry Resource.
Here is the final post and featured poem.
Until We Meet Again
We made it, everyone! Na/GloPoWriMo has come and gone – for the twentieth time! I hope you had fun.
My gratitude goes out to you for joining us, and my special thanks to everyone who has commented on other participants’ work. Your kindness, care, and enthusiasm mean the world.
Our final daily participant is A Rhyme a Day, where the palinode prompt for Day 30 resulted in a lovely and bittersweet rumination on trains.
We’ll be back next year with more prompts and resources. Until then, happy writing!
An emotive poem to end on.