Tag Archives: Hanif Abdurraqib

NaPoWriMo 2021 Day 14


Day Fourteen For full post click here.

The featured participant for the day is Yodel! Yodel!, where the response to the “news article” prompt for Day 13 proposed a version of NaPoWriMo I think we all could get behind.

Our reading for the day is is another live event, which will take place tomorrow, April 15 at 7:30 p.m. eastern daylight time. Poet Hanif Abdurraqib will read live online from his 2019 book, A Fortune for Your Disaster.

… Our prompt for the day. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that delves into the meaning of your first or last name. Looking for inspiration? Take a look at this poem by Mark Wunderlich, appropriately titled “Wunderlich.”

Happy writing!

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PROCESS NOTES: How to make up lost time…

Today I treated myself to a massive catch up, carved out some time and set myself to work. It occurred to me yesterday that what I needed was not discipline but time, and not time as in half a day or an extra day but time as in set yourself a task and an alarm for 10 minutes – the proper bite size approach.

I had gaps. Napo gaps. They’re a thing. It happens. The choice is yours and many choose to skip the prompt – there are no consequences, no one is checking up on you. I wanted to push myself to close the gaps and although a 10 minute alarm may sound like pressure, it wasn’t. It fired me up to work efficiently.

I approached the gaps chronologically and caught up with my failed* Day 9 poem, Day 11, 12 and 13 writes. *This prompt was sticky for me, I had chosen the wrong subject and so nothing worked. The secret – one I use often… do your writing offline, thus avoiding all internet rabbit holes!

Another tip if you are catching up with yourself, don’t look at the next prompt until your writing is done. So it’s 4:30 PM and I have just arrived at today’s prompt knowing that by tomorrow morning I will be back on track!

I will update the blog posts with process notes over the next few days.

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However you approach NaPoWriMo, make sure you enjoy it! 30 days is a marathon, so make sure you use the pit stops.

And enjoyable is how I would describe the participant’s poem today. Very wry. Was in love with it from the first stanza.

Morning prompts, on your breakfast tray, come delivered to you 

in bed, in silence, by a coffee barista who will come back only when 

you clear your throat that special way. 

 wander the compound’s grounds which come complete 

with spontaneous yoga mats where you can stretch into the day 

at ease and breathe in-in-inspirationnnn should you feel the need. 

And the 2nd letter – Letter to the Editor – is inspired and brilliant! Made me chuckle. I read and re-read this poem many times.

I wanted to have a go at writing to the prompt before I read Mark Wunderlich’s Wunderlich. I already know my name means Princess and War. I was 8 when I discovered my middle name means the same as my first. I am Princess Princess War. Certainly one side of me, perhaps. This is all book knowledge/pre-internet so I am looking forward to referencing accurately and discovering after a lifetime of basically being She Ra, my name means something else!

As with some recent days, I have had a busy one and my brain and eyes need to log off. I have my name notes and will concoct a poem for breakfast before looking at Day 15.


I really enjoyed researching my names. I know I have to pick one for the prompt. I was right in my knowledge that my middle name means the same as my first name in Russia/n. And surname is ‘War’ or ‘Warrior’ (so She Ra wasn’t too far off) but in none of my research did I find the other definition/meaning as Princess. The name book I got this information from is decades old. It means grace (which most princesses are reputed to have… guess I have to let the princess thing go now)! Other sources cite Goddess and Fire.

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I knew where both my names derived from (country/time etc.) and some of these roots are visible through ancestry too. But it was interesting to remind myself. I spent far too long reading sites around this knowledge. This prompt became almost project and I knew at some point I would have to reel it in to write a poem.

There are so many varied interpretations of the one name that I decided to use the other one, which holds only a few and all of them tie into the same theme. Renowned warrior/ War/ Leader/ Loud Battle.

We stand with gold medals in our hearts

with a string of fallen ancestors

who also took up the fight.

Once I had written my poem I treated myself to reading Mark’s. Loved it. Humour ringing all the way through which makes the ending hit so much harder!

It can mean “he prefers cats.”  
It means he has a gnome tattooed
near the hair underneath his arm.  
It means “he loves Christmas like a simpleton.” 
It means “making sushi out of SPAM.” 

The name means “electric organ maestro.” 
The name means “famous botanical illustrator.” 
It means the drunken tenor ass-over-teakettle down a set of Viennese stairs.

My Wunderlichs steamed up the long brown Mississippi 
in a boat that put them and their peculiarities off in Wisconsin, 
where the name means a shady farm
growing a crop of moss on a roof,

Wunderlich – By Mark Wunderlich

It says more about the prompt / framework and pages of research you can pull from the internet but my poem felt like Mark’s, in as far as it is a list, a liturgy to our names. I also used touches of humour (my funny poem count, now in double figures)!

This prompt took me days to get through but it was worth it and the process was massively enjoyable. I could have spent 30 days here.