Tag Archives: NaPoWriMo 2017

NaPoWriMo Day 9 Prompts & Poetry


Well after an epic morning writing the gaps I am finally back on track with prompts for NaPoWriMo.


Here is what is on offer over at http://www.napowrimo.net/day-nine-3/

Our featured participant for the day is Ordinary Average Thoughts, the repetition poem.

Today, our interview is with Thomas Lux. When he passed away earlier this year, he was the author of twenty books of poetry. Known for his sardonic verse (titles of his books include Pecked To Death By Swans and Tarantulas on the Lifebuoy), Lux taught for many years at Sarah Lawrence College in New York, as well as in other writing programs around the country. Find examples of his poems here and here.

poetry foundation

Finally, here is our prompt (optional, as always). Because today is the ninth day of NaPoWriMo, I’d like to challenge you to write a nine-line poem.

I wrote a very personal poem so I won’t post any snippets here. I am not sure it is one I can do anything with. So I set about writing more and after two false starts caught a poem that went somewhere.

‘…scared to ruin what is precious…

…time does not lace… with its trace…’

Carrie Etter’s prompt leaves me with a lump in my throat before I even attempt pen to paper. Writing about loss. Writing about the month of loss and listing all the horrible things about the month then revealing in the endline that this was the month of loss. I am thinking of a friend who died, who I miss dearly.

I came back to writing this a while later, an incredibly short poem of 10 lines. Powerful, going somewhere.

…frost grieved evenings…

snow bleached hospital sheets…

November took you to that colourless place.

Jo Bell under a post called leaping greenly, gives us an untitled poem by EE Cummings. http://www.jobell.org.uk/

In her post she shares the EE Cummings poem that first got her into poetry (thank goodness, a poetry world without Jo in it would be a poorer place). At 17 she wrote out the last two verses, Jo writes It can be explained, just as happiness can be explained as a ratio of endorphins – but that’s not the point of either poetry or happiness.

Which made me smile.

I am a Cummings fan and this was an insightful read. Enjoyed spending some time with Cummings.

Over at The Poetry School 58d3e6b0bba6c-bpfullcalls for a response poem.

Day 9: Response poem

Morning all. Today’s challenge is a response poem: argue against, agree with, re-write, or converse with someone else’s poem. The difficulty, of course, lies in making your poem stand up on its own. © The Poetry School 2017 


NaPoWriMo Day 9 The BIG Cook Up


Sometimes we use Sundays to do a bulk cook, as we have time and space to do so. Today the sun is shining and I have been awake since 6 a.m. I am writing (not continually), I am writing the gaps of prompts I skipped and days I missed due to writing off prompt.


I have so far written every day but not all poems follow the prompts, they don’t have to.

A lingering prompt – and by that, I mean a prompt I have not been able to get my teeth into came on Day 6 – a poem that looks at the same thing from various points of view. I think my main issue is finding the pinnacle event to hang the poem on. I tried watching a video of a Barrista at work (inspired by my 2nd coffee of the day). I made notes for 15 minutes and then wrote the poem. There are 5 different points of view but I am still not convinced it works. I will crack this prompt but I think I will surrender and let it come to me.


I played with Carrie Etter’s 6th prompt – choosing 5 out of 6 words. I started by listing synonyms and then during a search engine enquiry copied some bad rap lyrics and created a found poem. It is a thin poem, the longest line is 3 words and most lines are just a word. I am delighted with the result. I feel it is a full, proper poem and is unlike any of my writing. It has rhythm and packs a lot of story into very few words. I can imagine it would be fun to perform.

Once I wrote this, I went back to my word list and wrote 2 incredibly short poems and a haiku.


I missed number 7 on Carrie’s list too – which was a 20 line (or fewer) poem on ‘Flights of Fancy’, this is the theme for Bradford on Avon’s poetry competition which Carrie Etter is judging this year.  My poem ran to 16 lines and was a cathartic experience. Post break-up travel plans, a trip taken 15 years ago to heal a broken heart.


I revisited napowrimo.net prompt for Day 8 – using repetition, again a prompt that carried a struggle in the ideas department. On Elizabeth Bouquet’s blog she wrote about her students – and I thought that could be a way in but only got as far as ‘She had some pupils…’ before I started thinking about eyes and the entire thing collapsed!

Then I finally cracked it and wrote my 2nd ever poem about shoes. I have a great love for shoes and handbags.

She had some shoes once, bought in Paris, never worn.

I feel chuffed that I managed to crack this poem. I am finally on track for Day 9.


Today I have time to browse and read other blogs, other NaPo poetry now I have written mine up to date and finally I think I may need to type up the work so far, 28 poems. Some are just 3 lines, haikus, freewrites and splurges, a few are fully formed and ready to serve. I like a couple. ALL are poems I would never have written without NaPoWriMo!

Today I revisited Elizabeth Boquets ‘Oaks to Acorns’ blog, to read her Napo poem for Day 6, what I found was a body of work, beautiful poems (that I now give myself permission to read) from the first week of prompts.

It is a good job I am not currently working on submissions, my festival event organising needs to step up a gear and I need to work on that and I have taken most of the past week off from performing, in fact I took the whole week off, went to readings instead.

Here I am in Day 9 and ready to face the prompts – emerging from a morning write that yielded 6 poems!

frugal cafe creative commons champers

NaPoWriMo Day 7 – A Week Under the Belt and a Write Fit for a King!


WOW – well done to everyone completing NaPoWriMo – you have made it to the end of the 1st week, only 3 more to go!


I did not manage to post yesterday as I had to go and collect my car after work and then we had a bonfire in the garden because we finally catch a glimpse of Summer here in the UK. I DID manage to write though. Epically in fact.

Day 7 – Although I had chance to check NaPo.net during a break at work, I did not have a chance to manage any notes or thoughts, so when I got home (finally) after being reunited with my poorly, now better car and parting with my extra earnings at the garage, I was ready for sun, garden, drink… in that order. I took my notebook out to the garden and started to write on the Carrie Etter prompt from Day 6, as my Day 6 prompts had been overturned with car rant writing.

The bitter/angry something else poem was still related to cars… an attempt at underwriting the real story into the scenario of 2 people playing chicken. I wrote an initial one about an item of clothing being stolen but I don’t think that idea brought enough anger to the surface.

… she has lived this nerve on the wire many lives before…

It was a fairly dark piece of writing which has honestly only given me about 4 useable lines, but one I have earmarked to revisit post NaPo.

I then made notes from Napowrimo.net prompt 7 was all about luck and fortuitousness, that’s a mouthful in itself. I didn’t write anything other than my notes, I completed the list of items, places and lost and found before we started the bonfire and then took my book inside, in fear it would set itself alight!

Today I have been running around since this morning and when I first got home, I went to join Mr G in the sun in the garden. Now I have opened my notebook to finish two prompts the NaPo from yesterday and also I still have Day 6, 13 different ways to look at… I have put this on the back burner as I am still seeking ideas to thread this one onto.

So back to the Napo prompt – there are 4 things I needed to incorporate and by the time that was done, it was a long poem. At some point the narrative turned more free-flow and retold the story. I have started writing in 3rd person over the past few days. It is something I won’t re-read straight away but is brimming with ideas and possibilities.

I am not sure of the fortune, I think my write is imbalanced with misfortune, the lost item carrying more weight than the found item or the original object which was the crux of the poem. Central theme. Maybe this is because the lost item was also mentioned in an introductory exercise at Verve, Sarah Howe’s Poetry Workshop. The idea that has resurfaced several times since February, bubbling away on that busy back-burner.

Her daughter magpied all the silver rings on velvet beds…

She learns what is made, does not last forever.

I enjoyed submerging myself in this writing. Not letting the pen stop. Generally this is the way I write, but not usually with the density of this sitting. I have 4 pages to churn through.

napo2017button1 Day 7 prompts from around the net. http://www.napowrimo.net/day-seven-4/

The featured participant was Smoke Words Every Day with a multiple-viewpoints poem from Day 6.

The interview was with Li Young Lee, read it here, poems can be read here https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poets/detail/li-young-lee#about

The prompt came from Elizabeth Boquet. Write a poem about luck and fortuitousness


Read poems here

Finally, our prompt for the day (optional as always) comes to us from Elizabeth Boquet.

Create the following lists:

1. List – 3 random objects. (Smaller tends to be better.)
2. List – 3 random but specific locations. (Think in the cookie jar, or under my seat…)
3. List – 2 objects you’ve lost and a few notes on their back-story.
4. List – 2 objects you’ve found and few notes on their back-story.

Now, choosing an object from List 1, a location from List 2, and connect them in a poem with ideas from Lists 3 & 4 and Voilà! A fortuitous poem!

There was a finished example, a poem called State of Grace, which I have not yet read as my approach is to work on writing from my own soul first and delve back into the riches of other people’s poems after. You can read Elizabeth’s poem here https://oakstoacorns.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/state-of-grace_10.html

Carrie Etter has a list of 30 prompts to be attempted in any order (I am methodically driving myself through them… is the car still on my brain), today’s prompt was a word list. Using 5 of the 6 given words, I am yet to attempt this one.

I am enjoying the community interaction of her group during NaPoWriMo.

Back in 2013 I discovered NaNoWriMo, the main event and the Spring/Summer camps. What I miss is the camp, the community. I love the fact that NaPoWriMo is what it is and there is no huge forum to get involved in (as it does drain the writing time) – having said that sharing this experience beyond blogs is rich in itself. There are plenty of ideas and conversations floating around and that buzz that the solidarity of writing rarely affords.

It is FUN – and that is the whole idea of this challenge.

Jo Bell posted http://www.jobell.org.uk/ BEATTIE IS THREE by Adrian Mitchell.

I read it today, a day late and having just visited a new little member of my family already had ‘awww’ mode on high alert.

This is a great example of the depth a poem can contain in very few words.

58d3e6b0bba6c-bpfull The Poetry School, which I really hope to get my teeth into in the 2nd week of NaPo now my own school has broken up for Easter, is another great hub and a place that offers peer feedback on Napo writes posted The Ode. It has been many years since I wrote an Ode.

Sharon Olds (who has been on my radar since Swindon Poetry Festival Autumn 2016) is the featured poet. Her work seems to have established a marmite reaction amongst my poetry peers, but once you hear her voice I think reading her work becomes easier to understand in technique. I have enjoyed most of what I have read of Olds so far.

We (a group of poets) were talking about ‘Stags Leap’ only last weekend. Thank you, universe of strange coincidence! https://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/oct/21/stags-leap-sharon-olds-review

In modern usage, an ode is simply a poem in praise of, or dedicated to – well, anything! We’re not looking for a classical ode with a strophe, antistrophe, and epode – just a verse or two singing the praises of an object, person, place, feeling or something else entirely. If you can, try and choose something unusual, or something that not everyone sees as positive. (It’s also a good form for irony and sarcasm.) © 2017 The Poetry School

‘Ode of Broken Loyalty’ by Sharon Olds is the example http://aprweb.org/poems/ode-of-broken-loyalty

Nina Lewis

Well done we are a quarter of the way there, I hope your poetry books are filling up with ideas and treasures to feed your writing for the rest of the year.

NaPoWriMo Day 6 – Adventure & Adversity


Well… you know those days that don’t go according to plan… sometimes they can make a poem and other times just a bad day for poetry.

My car window got stuck open and all my after work plans unravelled as I took a tour of local garages. In the end I had to drive to my old hometown and regular garage as they could offer me a motor to get to work tomorrow and somewhere dry and secure for my car overnight!

The loan is a honking great beast and takes full concentration to drive, so any sifting poetry thoughts were well and truly lost when I arrived home about an hour ago and had to master a parallel park!

I am not in the right frame of mind at the moment to start writing although I have managed two car fuelled poems along the lines of Napo.net prompt. I feel I need to give myself the space to write this evening.

I cannot wait for the next fortnight when my life can pull down a gear and my writing time can reach points of abundance.



Today’s featured site Blimey Rhymies  https://supazubablog.wordpress.com/2017/04/05/napowrimo-day-5-bishops-wood/ a Napo poem billed as Mary Oliver-inspired poem for Day Five reads a bit like Mary Oliver as reinterpreted by Edward Lear with a side of Lemony Snicket… got my attention as a must read!

Today’s interview is with Alex Dimitrov https://www.poetrysociety.org/psa/poetry/crossroads/interviews/alex_d/ Read his poetry here http://www.theparisamerican.com/alex-dimitrov-poetry.html

Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that looks at the same thing from various points of view. The most famous poem of this type is probably Wallace Stevens’ Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird. You don’t need to have thirteen ways of looking at something – just a few will do!

Carrie Etter’s prompt was to Write an angry, bitter poem to someone who has wronged you, but instead of relating the events or the wrong autobiographically, think of what could metaphorically represent that same event and write about that instead.

My poem today – despite all the car trouble was not really angry or bitter, I kind of followed the idea of different ways of looking at something (napo.net) but really today, I think I just wrote several car rants.

…I do not even mind the dashboard of humming bugs,

… I learn, using the Air Conditioning is not expensive, after all.

Jo Bell encourages us to read Philip Larkin (one of my favs), fell in love with him during G.C.S.E English Literature! http://www.jobell.org.uk/

Best Society by Philip Larkin and a good discussion/explanation of rhyme/rhyming schemes.

Over at the Poetry School the prompt is ritual and habit (about 20 years ago I learnt if you repeat an act 27 times it becomes a habit).


Your poem today should include a habit or ritual of some kind; it can be as grand as a religious observance or as small as the way someone you know squeezes their toothpaste. Your example poem today is Raising a Glass with My Old Man, by Mauricio Rosencof, translated by Margaret Jull Costa.


Lots to get my teeth into once I stop them from clenching over the thought of the imminent garage bill!

red mini


NaPoWriMo Day 5


For the first time since the start of NaPo I have found myself time limited. I am following four different prompt areas this month and tend to write from two sources. This means that my NaPo poetry has already reached double figures.

Today whilst at work I considered the nature prompt from NaPoWriMo, I made some notes hoping to work on a poem this evening. http://www.napowrimo.net/day-five-4/

I was too tired to concentrate when I first got home, then fell asleep. I have an idea that is bubbling in my head and would like to form a poem before bed. However, I know that this is the only prompt/poem I will create today. Carrie Etter’s prompt is a prose poem and that is a style I tend to steer clear of. I will attempt it at some point but also like the idea of stashing documents of prompts away to face later in the year. So I will forgive myself and move on if I don’t take the prose prompt. NaPo is all about forgiveness, I learnt that the first year I tried it. It is my 4th year doing this crazy poem-a-day thing.

allotment 2

© A.Cooke 2013

I was excited when I saw Mary Oliver on today’s Napo thread. I bought her book ‘ A Poetry Handbook’ at the tail end of 2013, my year of learning.

The featured poet came from the Enigma prompt https://ccthinks.wordpress.com/2017/04/04/when-this-boy-croons-every-moon-in-june-blooms-napowrimo-day-4-enigma-variations/

The interview was with Mary Oliver http://www.oprah.com/entertainment/maria-shriver-interviews-poet-mary-oliver

Read her poetry here https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poets/detail/mary-oliver#about

poetry foundation

And the reason for the allotment photo… the prompt was about an experienced nature, (I didn’t actually write about the allotment, despite having a mini series of allotment poems).

In honor of Mary Oliver’s work, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that is based in the natural world: it could be about a particular plant, animal, or a particular landscape. But it should be about a slice of the natural world that you have personally experienced and optimally, one that you have experienced often. Try to incorporate specific details while also stating why you find the chosen place or plant/animal meaningful. © Napo.net 2017


My poem was about flowers. It mentions radial patterns and US Airlines following spoke and hub routes…

It is yet to define itself as a poem!

Carrie Etter’s Prompt was to write a prose poem.

The Poetry School Day 5: The Aubade (touches of 52). An aubade is a poem addressing the break of day. A traditional aubade often featured the parting of lovers, but yours doesn’t have to. It also doesn’t have to be an ode to the morning; morning can arrive quite gently or tangentially in your poem — but it has to be there. Two example poems today, neither of which is remotely traditional (after all, you all know Larkin’s ‘Aubade’ already, don’t you?).
Carl Phillips: Aubade: Some Peaches, After Storm
Ocean Vuong: Aubade with Burning City

© The Poetry School 2017

Jo Bell (encouraging a month of reading) posted NaPoReMo (National Poetry Read(ing) Month), Song by Adrienne Rich.

Be inspired (I’ve got poetry to go and write) x


NaPoWriMo Day 4 – Back at Work Challenge


NapoWriMo brought with it the challenge of working today and still managing a write. Fortunately, I have learnt from the best and always have a carry around notebook about my person. So in a break I used it and got some notes of ideas down, which I later worked into my first poem of the day.


I tackled Carrie Etter’s prompt first today which was to do with writing in fragments, contrasting the concrete with the abstract. The notebook itself was perfect for this as it holds many random thoughts, unfinished and fragmented in nature.

  1. I opened the notebook randomly and scribbled down the first 5 lines I saw. All from disassociated notes.
  2. Next I went in search of concrete images.
  3. Then abstract.

In the end I had three concrete images and lots of interesting lines of text.

At the end of work, I sat down with these scribbles and attempted to freewrite a poem. It became one of those poems that was still going somewhere but not clearly, so I (in the style of 52) lost the last 2 lines and left my poem there. Barely more than a stanza, an 8 line poem. It is a character driven piece which surprised me considering the random approach to material gathering.

It is a piece about my mother – but the character isn’t my mum or anything like her so it is a created voice narrating about her mother. This woman may have more in touch with my grandparents generation and definitely bears no resemblance to any relative of mine. Fun to write though. I may write more with this character voice in the future. I do not feel this poem stands very tall but I like the woman I have created and the imagined daughter too and think they may make a reappearance.

‘All the while, in plain nylons and navy,

turning herself invisible.’



Today’s featured poet is Katie Staten, who wrote a well humoured elegy for her father-in-law. https://krstaten.wordpress.com/2017/04/03/napowrimo-3-elegy-for-a-holiday/

The featured interview today is with Lawrence Ferlinghetti – an important figure in the beat generation of poets. http://www.npr.org/2015/06/11/410487944/at-96-poet-and-beat-publisher-lawrence-ferlinghetti-isnt-done-yet Read his poems and articles here poetry foundationhttps://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poets/detail/lawrence-ferlinghetti#about


Today’s challenge (optional prompt) came with music, so whilst at work I just copied notes on the idea behind the writing. Once I got home I listened to the music and did a piece of freewriting. Just on the music itself. Not with the prompt in mind.

Try it for yourself. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GbD20h8-_4


In the UK part of this track (Nimrod) was a used in a famous bread advert so you may find it difficult to imagine anything other than cobbled streets and a boy on a bicycle.

From the freewrite I have one description I may work in elsewhere. But I really only did it to leave work at the door and get my writing head on.

PROMPT DAY 4 from Napowrimo.net

One of the most popular British works of classical music is Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations. The “enigma” of the title is widely believed to be a hidden melody that is not actually played, but which is tucked somehow into the composition through counterpoint. Today I’d like you to take some inspiration from Elgar and write a poem with a secret – in other words, a poem with a word or idea or line that it isn’t expressing directly. The poem should function as a sort of riddle, but not necessarily a riddle of the “Why is a raven like a writing desk?” variety. You could choose a word, for example, “yellow,” and make everything in the poem something yellow, but never actually allude to their color. Or perhaps you could closely describe a famous physical location or person without ever mentioning what or who it actually is.

I really enjoyed writing this poem, really felt like I was getting my teeth into something meaty that may sizzle on its own feet one day.

I chose to hide a colour and what started off as an autobiographical recount ended with something far more surreal (both the midwife and the baby have special names) and is ear-marked to return to after April. In fact I may need to return to it long before then. I think it is already walking!

‘The room for dubious babies…’

Jo Bell has posted Majority by Michael Donaghy http://www.jobell.org.uk/ for Day 4 of NaPo Read.

She also notes that there was no promise that these poems would be cheerful. Food for thought today.


58d3e6b0bba6c-bpfullThe Poetry School were after a Clerihew today, which is a brief form invented by Edmund Clerihew. If you would like to attempt one here is the format. Four lines of irregular metre and length, set in deliberately ‘wrenched’ rhyming couplets. Crucially, the first line has to end with a person’s name, typically someone famous.

I imagine there may be plenty of Trump/May poems out there today!

NaPoWriMo Day 3


The challenge of MONDAY hits most of the global population of NaPoWriMo, as it is my writing day – I have, no excuse! Here we are at nearly 5pm and I have not started. My challenge will kick in tomorrow when I am back at work and not able to give NaPo any consideration until I come home from poeting in the late hours. Still… today there is no barrier other than myself.

DAY 3:

http://www.napowrimo.net/day-three-3/ napo2017button1

I will start with the official site who today feature an incredible (dark) poem from the recipe prompt yesterday. http://notesfromabinbag.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/recipe-to-make-fox-lass.html

The interview is with Monica De La Torre http://marfapublicradio.org/blog/west-texas-talk/lannan-poet-in-residence-monica-de-la-torre/

Three of her poems can be read here http://bombmagazine.org/article/2872/three-poems

Today’s prompt is to write an elegy (memories of 52 come flooding back to me)! It might be the death topic putting me off completing my poems today as Carrie Etter’s prompt mentions writing about seeing a person who resembles someone who is dead… my way in might be to write about The Doors Alive *the Willy days, they have changed frontman since!

Elsewhere Jo Bell posts Walt Whitman, a poet I only discovered last year and fell madly in depth with. https://belljarblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/03/dead-men-talking/

I spent some proper time at the Poetry School today, who suggested a list poem. Lots to read and mull over.

Off to find my way into the writing and will update this post once I have.

I found my way in. The Naponet prompt of writing an elegy I decided to research a historical figure. Maybe I can use it for National Women’s Month 2018. I wrote it out longhand in the notebook I have started using for NaPo – this longhand writing is part of making this challenge special and enjoyable. Sets my mind to workshop mode. However, I am so used to writing straight to the screen that I find it difficult to edit on paper. This poem has been redrafted and will be the first one I type up to play with, is perhaps the first one I consider to be a real poem. Or a poem of use, that is to be shared at some point in the future.

The 2nd prompt of Carrie’s I decided to write about one of my favourite bands, The Doors. The first time Mr G and I went to see The Doors Alive and I met the frontman, Willy… I certainly saw more than a resemblance to the late Jim Morrison. This poem would not be emotionally strenuous to write (grief wise) and again might become something that is shareable in future.

The Poetry School have posted a LIST poem prompt which I have yet to tackle. I am not sure I will ever have time to read everything on the Poetry School site, there are so many poems being posted. Hopefully we will still have access to read after April’s month of writing.

I am now breathing a sigh of relief – I got through DAY 3 and looking forward to a late write tomorrow night.


Happy NaPo!

NaPoWriMo Day 2



I wrote my NaPo poems on the day in between organising and writing my Poetry Ballroom set and attending the event in the evening. More about the Poetry Ballroom will be posted soon.

DAY 2 http://www.napowrimo.net/day-two-4/

Day 2 started with a read of the crow poem (Kay Ryan prompt) https://thoughtsofwordsblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/01/crow/  it has made me consider revisiting this prompt again and this time using an animal.

The interview was with Dawn Lundy Martin. https://www.loc.gov/poetry/interviews/dawnlundymartin.html

Read Last Days here here

The prompt (as I mentioned on my previous post) was a poem in the style of a recipe. I managed one called Ancient Recipe which starts with the line ‘For 2-3 people’, it is a poem about attempting to conceive. It started life as an Ancient Roman recipe involving boiled eggs. The end-line:

‘Escape your shells,

go deeper.’

I really enjoyed reading the comments on Carrie Etter’s group, knowing that we are all in the midst of writing for this challenge, a shared joy and sometimes frustration. I always find the first few days are less troublesome than the slow crawl through the treacle of the month to come. I am hoping it remains enjoyable for me though – otherwise what is the point?

napofeature2017-2Carrie’s Day 2 prompt was to write a Pantoum.  The first time I attempted this style was two summers ago and I got hooked. I have not written one since and I was slightly nervous about it. I wrote 4, none of which I was particularly happy with but then suddenly something came into my head, something that needed to be written about. A memory that resurfaced during Kim Moore’s workshop at Verve Poetry Festival in February. It is dark.

‘Shadows play tricks on dream-waking eyes… her scream came only as a whisper.’

I also discovered that Jo Bell (never far from the action) is giving us daily NaPo blogs for reading. She includes a link to 30 of her own prompts as well as in depth analysis of a poem a day.

As always, Jo offers the good advice that writing well comes from reading well.


Every day this month, I’ll post a poem for you to read and think about.


I also managed to dip into the Poetry School and read the prompts left for NaPo there. I didn’t want to read the poems before I have had a chance to work on the prompts. I envisage a daily read at the PS, with possibly posting some Napo Poems to the discussion, not many though. I have 2 I would be happy for anyone to see in the present state (the poems, not me… although the amount I have had on in the past week, I possibly look a state too!) – we will see.

PS Napo


It is that time of year AGAIN! NaPoWriMo



I cannot believe we have reached April already. The last 24 hours have been a blur of heavy writing, submitting and performing and now it is April the 1st and I am a fool to be up this late blogging as I have an early start in the morning!

BUT – I have once again (for the 3rd year running) decided to do NaPoWriMo and our blog can be found as a participating site on the main site. http://www.napowrimo.net/


As with previous years, I blog about the process, the prompts and the rich resources *usually other poets – that napowrimo.net provide. I tend to only post a snippet of my writing in case it becomes something I wish to publish, although I do not think I have ever submitted NaPo writes – maybe this year will be different!

This year has certainly started differently as I am one of over a hundred poets who have joined Carrie Etter to celebrate and work on NaPoWriMo 2017.

carrie napo list

We have already shared some of our favourite poems with each other. Amongst them;

  • In That Year Kim Moore
  • The Light Gatherer Carol-Ann Duffy
  • IV (from Twenty-One Love Poems) Adrienne Rich
  • The Terrorist, He Watches Wislawa Szymborska
  • Advice to Myself Louise Erdrich
  • The Pilot Russell Edson
  • Monet Refuses the Operation Lisel Mueller
  • Autobiography Louis MacNeice
  • Liberté Paul Eluard
  •  On This Island W. H. Auden
  • Conversation with a Stone Wislawa Szymborska
  • Enter a Cloud W. S Graham
  • Full Moon and Little Frieda Ted Hughes
  • Bird by Liz Berry
  • Encounter Czeslaw Milosz
  • The Hammock Li-Young Lee
  • You’re Sylvia Plath
  • My Species Jane Hirshfield
  • The Village Alice Oswald
  • Falling James L. Dickey
  • Try to Praise the Mutilated World ADAM ZAGAJEWSKI
  • Snow Louis MacNeice
  • In the Theatre By Dannie Abse
  • Fado Jane Hirshfield
  • Natural Trust Tony Harrison
  • A Tray of Frozen Songbirds Pascale Petit
  • Not waving But Drowning Stevie Smith
  • After the Moon Marianne Boruch
  • The Swing Don Paterson
  • Det Blomstrende Slagsmål / The Flowering Fight Tom Christensen

Stephen Daniels created maps of the whereabouts of Carrie’s participants.

Carrie Napo We are such a tiny island. Filled with words. The international picture looks like this.

121 carrie napo

And I for one am eager to get writing (it must have been at least 2 hours since I left my poetry manuscript!

The main page has a Haibun early bird prompt (international time differences) and I do not feel smug that I do not need the explanation for this form but I am wondering if I have had a little too much post-submission-Friday-night-juice to make use of it!

But this is NaPoWriMo – so I should dive straight in, right?

Have a good month, see what you can pen!