Tag Archives: NaPoWriMo

NaPoWriMo – The Final Crumbs

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Another year gone!

On May 1, 2017

Well, everyone, another NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo has come and gone. I hope you enjoyed the challenge, and even if you didn’t get all the way to 30 poems, that you had fun along the way! I also hope you’re ready for NaPoReMo/GloPoReMo, or National/Global Poetry Revision Month (just kidding).

We have one last featured participant for the year: When the Dogs Bite, where the repetition poem for Day 30 is about a panoply of dogs on their daily walk.

Thanks, as always, to everyone who signed up, everyone who commented, sent encouraging notes, and gave their time to writing as part of NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo. This project wouldn’t exist without you!

I will leave the list of participants up until we being our housecleaning in anticipating of NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo 2018! Regardless, all of of the posts and comments will remain available.

Thanks for playing along, and see you next year!

From http://www.napowrimo.net/

type nap

Until 2018…

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Review April 2017

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As always NaPoWriMo takes over April and makes it challenging to keep other blog posts up to date. I have made an effort to keep the blog NaPo intentionally this month with a few posts breaking the thread. I have had some amazing experiences this month which deserve a dedicated blogging. I plan to pepper them in throughout May.

 

WEEK 1:

I was asked to co-ordinate an event for a Festival I am already involved with – this task took the best part of a fortnight. But I am happy that it is all now booked and in place for this summer. I spent further weeks this month planning and organising the events for an Arts Festival in July.

I went to an editing workshop. Taking with me a poem from 2014 that has never fully worked. I can safely say it has the treatment now and just in time because it formed part of the set I performed at The Poetry Ballroom.

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I experienced the Poetry Ballroom. Suz Winspear (this year’s Worcestershire Poet Laureate) organised this event in partnership with DanceFest. It was an amazing night. I will be blogging a full write up in May, I was honoured to be an invited performer at the event and had great fun writing some dance poems especially for it. The evening was a sound success and the dancers appreciated the theme of our poetry – not realising that we would focus on dance. As an ex-dancer, it was a pleasure.

I was asked to endorse a book (my 2nd one). The first book I endorsed is due to launch in May, more on that next month too. I am currently reading this manuscript and am delighted that the publishers thought of me.

I was asked to read at a Book Launch next month. I have spent some time this month penning new poems for this occasion. To be honest the poems were also part of NaPoWriMo, but why not make your projects work hard for you. Lots of prompts leant themselves to current project pies I have my thumbs in, so given half a chance…napo2017button1

I went to a reading at The Hive with Sarah Leavesley & Melissa Lee-Houghton. I was really excited by this. Ruth Stacey had arranged it for her students at university and just gave a bit of a quiet shout out. thehiveworcsorg

Being part of an audience of students, listening to their woes made me glad this wasn’t my life anymore. It is all to easy to glamorize the undergraduate/post grad life… but really… as much pressure as the real world.

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I loved hearing Sarah read from Magnetic Diaries again after all this time and it was a real treat to hear Melissa Lee-Houghton, as she sadly couldn’t make Verve festival in the end. It was a great evening and I am glad I managed the post work rush to get there. Had to drive a hire car too – as my window decided to malfunction and I spent over an hour finding a garage willing to help me so late on in the day. The window was stuck in the down position. My lesson: using air con is cheaper in the long run!

I spent time writing the brief for a 2nd poetry festival event, involving the other two poets. It is amazing how many days it can take 3 poets to come up with less than 3 lines!

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Back in February (my month of applications), I applied for Room 204 Writer Development Programme run by WWM. They had over 130 applicants this year for 15 places. I am delighted to announce the embargo has lifted and I can share this news. We had our first cohort meeting – what a great year to be in, so much talent. We had a photo shoot (one I wanted a haircut and weight-loss for) – neither happened in the days beforehand, but Paul Stringer is a talented photographer. It was a fun morning, we were all so excited to be part of the 2017/18 cohort and already good things have happened as a result. There is a whole year of mentoring and career development ahead, over £1000 worth. Priceless if you ask me.

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I am extremely excited to be part of Room 204, I discovered it back in 2013 and have been biding my time and developing my writing to the point I thought I was able to qualify for a place on the scheme. I am grateful my application was successful. That my writing stood up to the scrutiny and competition. Here’s the rest of this year’s cohort

https://www.writingwestmidlands.org/room-204-participants-201718/

I also reconnected with a good friend of mine afterwards and we plan to exchange books and do lunch next time I am back in the area. I used to spend more time in Birmingham than I do at the moment. I am spending less time on the road this year and more time at the desk, the natural pattern of a writer. It was good catching up.

WEEK 2

Went to an incredibly exciting meeting at the Custard Factory for this year’s Room 204 programme, which we were embargoed about. The news was finally released on the 11/12th. Rm-204-logo-final-solo-600x328

Started typing NaPo poems, I decided to write longhand this year, which gave me that workshop feeling as much of my writing is straight to screen nowadays. It meant I successfully completed the challenge with 97 poems by the end of the month, however I have typed about 10 to edit so far.

Made a promotional Easter video for Fragile Houses. I was reading advice on marketing and promotion and find it hard to detail what my pamphlet with give you beyond shared experience, memory and space to work through mirrored realities. Which all seems a high promise or at the worst an abstract manifesto. Then I thought about chocolate, the calories (personally delighted this year to have so many eggs and treats). easter Had another 3 eggs after this photo was taken!

I spent half a day making the video. Poetry – less calories than chocolate. Maybe I should have offered a free egg with every book sold.

I booked onto a Room 204 event for later in the month.

Started writing a book review and went to see Kate Bush tribute Cloudbusting with Mr G. katebush

I missed License to Rhyme again as the next day I was going to Swindon. Rick Saunders aka Willis the Poet was headlining and he was happy to take me on the road trip. It was a cracking night at Oooh Beehive – a night that Clive Oseman and Nick Lovell started a while ago. Swindon is quite a way on a school night and it was the early hours by the time I was home, but it was the Easter holidays and I am glad I managed it. Lovely to see Sam Loveless and Edward, who I met at the Poetry Festival last year.

I went to HOWL and watched amazing headline sets from Charley Barnes, Tom McCann and Rhythmical Mike. It was a great night and I was happy I made an open mic spot. It was fabulous to see everyone again. HOWL

I went to SpeakEasy where Gareth Owens was headlining. That was a good night too – rare these days that I manage 3 nights on the hoof like this. I spent the day beforehand making media for an upcoming festival shoe and dealing with programme copy.

It was nice to escape for a few hours and immerse myself in poetry.

The Beltane Anthology for 2017 was published by Three Drops from a Cauldron, which has my Rag Tree poem in it. I know you should never judge a book by the cover – but with this stunning design, who wouldn’t want to see their poetry inside!

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Featuring poetry and flash fiction by Jane Burn, Rhiannon Hooson, Alison Stone, Denise Blake, Abigail Elizabeth Ottley Wyatt, Eleanor Penny, Tom Moody, Bee Smith, Rebecca Buchanan, Rebecca Gethin, Nina Lewis, Wendy Mannis Scher, Ceinwen E. Cariad Haydon, Sarah Hart, Raquel Vasquez Gilliland, Kitty Coles, Donald Illich, Dennis Trujillo, Lesley Burt, Cynthia June Long, Vivien Jones, Moyra Donaldson, Maggie Mackay, Bethany Rivers, Lewis Buxton, Carmina Masoliver, Nico Solheim-Davidson, R.M. Francis, Linda Goulden, Ilse Pedler, and Joanna Swan.

Edited by Kate Garrett, with the Three Drops from a Cauldron editorial team: Becca Goodin, Loma Jones, Amy Kinsman, Holly Magill, Penny Sharman, Grant Tarbard, and Claire Walker.

http://www.lulu.com/shop/kate-garrett/three-drops-from-a-cauldron-beltane-2017/paperback/product-23143262.html

It is now also available in digital copy.

https://threedropspoetry.co.uk/2017/04/14/three-drops-from-a-cauldron-beltane-2017/

Week 3

I had a free writing webinar with The Writers Academy & Penguin Random House, it was an interesting few hours, although I wrote copious notes not realising they were sending follow up information via email.

I had my first Room 204 1 to 1 session, we get 3 over the course of the year. It was useful and I have already started working on decisions.Rm-204-logo-WITH-WORDS

I spent an entire day co-ordinating and planning for festival events.

Holly Daffurn has started a new venture – at Bottles Wine Bar, ‘Uncorked’ an evening of Spoken Word, there were over 50 tickets sold and the night was divided into 3 parts with 5 headliners and open mic. Ambitious scheduling, beautiful venue and a stellar line up made for a perfect evening. uncorked

I performed on the open mic. Brilliant Headliners: Jasmine Gardosi, Casey Bailey, Holly Daffurn, Leon Priestnall & Joe Cooke

The Spring edition of Birmingham Literature Festival happened and despite a fantastic programme (all well received), I was unable to make it across to the city for any events. I even missed Cynthia Miller’s Primers Launch.

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I had my WWM group which meant I couldn’t attend some of the events/workshops on Saturday. The group went really well, we made our own magazines. I have since planned the final two session, so feel ahead of the game.

Week 4

I booked tickets to go and see Carol Ann Duffy in May, continued to organise festival events. The Stourbridge Literature Festival started. I went to see Emma Purshouse headline at Spoken Trend, saw Carla Rickets headline too. It was a great night, I even went home with 3 daffodils, now that is a good night.

I took a Napowrimo poem to Stanza and it was approved. I have written 97 in total this month as I have followed 2 main prompts, the main site napwrimo.net and joined Carrie Etter’s group where she provided us with 30 optional prompts. Beyond the poems, I have researched and stumbled into new project territory which is most exciting. Carrie’s group was amazing for comradery and support. Jo Bell spent the entire month posting poems for us to read as it is as important as writing and a sure way to learn/ learn about poetry. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the poems and discussions on her blog and will miss this daily ritual and ponder more than I will miss the onslaught of daily poetry writing.

imgID54935282.jpg.gallery I went to the first talk organised by Room 204 and now have a notebook full of information and ideas.

And the month finished with a flurry of PR for VOICES FROM THE MIDDLE at Stourbridge Literature Festival.

The first of 3 events I have been organising. A combined reading with: vpress sb I will blog about the festival/event over the coming days. Within 24 hours I will be promoting Cheltenham Poetry Festival and over the next 5 days working towards 30-40-60 the collaborative performance booked into this year’s Worcester Literature Festival.

I will not have time to be sad about the end of NaPoWriMo, but I hope to have time to type edit some of the work produced during April.

This was a GREAT month!

 

 

NaPoWriMo Day 18 – The Late Service!

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I read the prompts this morning before I left for a meeting in the city. I got home shortly before Mr. G finished work. I spent the evening researching and organising festival events and then sat down about an hour ago to work on my poems.

Here are today’s prompts and lines.

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http://www.napowrimo.net/

Today’s featured participant is Voyage Cities, where the nocturne poem for Day 17 is inspired by the work of Kenneth Patchen.

Our interviewee for the day is Rita Dove, Pulitzer Prize winner, former Poet Laureate of the United States, and the author of ten books of poetry, a novel, a play, a collection of short stories, and a book of essays. Whew! That’s a lot of writing. You can find a number of her poems here. If you’re not sure which one to choose, here’s my personal favorite.

And now for our (optional) prompt. Today, I challenge you to write a poem that incorporates neologisms. What’s that? Well, it’s a made-up word! Your neologisms could be portmanteaus (basically, a word made from combining two existing words, like “motel” coming from “motor” and “hotel”) or they could be words invented entirely for their sound. Probably the most famous example of a poem incorporating neologisms is Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky, but neologisms don’t have to be funny or used in the service of humor. You can use them to try to get at something that you don’t have an exact word for, or to create a sense of sound and rhythm, or simply to make the poem feel strange and unworldly.

I love the Jabberwocky, despite having to study it in school and subsequently using it for teaching. Sometimes when academia is involved creative enjoyment diminishes, not the case here. My poem was not intended as a nonsense poem, but the result is definitely just that.

I started with a list of portmanteaus, then proceeded to use almost all of them in my poem.

when eyezips restored the balance,

allowed lightwalls to crumple beneath

cupboardskirts…

I also love Rita Dove and was fortunate enough to see her in action back in 2015. Birmingham Literature Festival


Carrie Etter left a choice of 5 words from a list of 6. I wrote a short 6 line poem.

… tie your hopes to branches of the Willow,

hear them catch

beneath the weight of leaves.


Jo Bell gave us Yes by William Stafford http://www.jobell.org.uk/ along with a what is poetry discussion.

Some poems derive their power from the act of isolating a thought or a moment, and focusing attention on it – almost like a meditative text. Isolating that idea and expressing it concisely and with clarity, is perhaps the most important skill.’ – Jo Bell.


58d3e6b0bba6c-bpfullThe Poetry School offered

Day 18: You’ve Got To Start Somewhere!

  • Getting started is the hardest part of writing, so let’s get it out of the way. Either:Go to the Random Sentence Generator and click the button to generate a completely random new sentence. You might have to have a few goes before you get one that makes sense.Or choose a sentence that appeals to you from a nearby book. Don’t think too hard about it. It can be poetry or prose.There – you have the first sentence of your new poem. Now lineate it in a way that adds meaning, and you have your basic line length. Finally, write the whole thing, then (optionally!) delete your first sentence.Off you go!napo2017button2 Nearly on the 10 Day Countdown, keep going! 

NaPoWriMo Day 17 – Over the Hill

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Today is a Bank Holiday and in true Bank Holiday style Mr G and I have run the gauntlet between leisure time and working. I popped online earlier to take a look at today’s prompts and am posting them here before going to do my NaPo write.

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http://www.napowrimo.net/

Today’s featured participant is Yesterday and today: Merril’s historical musings, where the correspondence poem for Day 16 is a bittersweet meditation on a letter never written.

Our featured interview for the day is with Hoa Nguyen, whose work is marked by a sense of immediate address and a pop-culture sensibility. You can learn more about Nguyen here, and you can find examples of her poetry here and here and here.

And now for our (optional) prompt. Today, I challenge you to write a nocturne. In music, a nocturne is a composition meant to be played at night, usually for piano, and with a tender and melancholy sort of sound. Your nocturne should aim to translate this sensibility into poetic form! Need more inspiration? Why not listen to one of history’s most famous nocturnes, Chopin’s Op. 9 No. 2?

I wrote my poem whilst listening to this video. It is a piece I know well.

A moment of stillness, in the dark.

The silent prayer, ‘Do not wake child’,

settles like a crown on the mother’s head.


napo2017button2 Carrie Etter’s prompt was about a news item. I am currently researching an article and choosing 5 phrases to sum up different points involved.

These will be used in the poem and the work will be written between them.

We have had two female Prime Ministers,

but out on the green, nine men reign.

I wrote about a piece of Cultural news reported by The Guardian. Gillian Wearing (Sculptor) is going to be creating a statue of Millicent Fawcett, a suffragist. Wearing created the ‘Ordinary Family’ bronze statue, which was unveiled in Centenary Square, Birmingham in 2014.

Centenary Square is appearing as my NaPo poem place fairly often.

My shocking discovery during researching this poem was that only 2.7% of British statues are named after women, mostly Royals. Considering most Towns/Cities have statues this is a shocking statistic.


Jo Bell suggests we read http://www.jobell.org.uk/ to become better writers. You won’t find many who disagree with this statement, you will find some who do not follow the advice.

Today we have Darling, Would You Please Pick Up Those Books? By Kathryn Maris.

Followed by a great discussion about subject, form and poetry. Opening our eyes to things we could easily miss.


Over at The Poetry School PS Napo Ali Lewis offers

Day 17: Aphorism and Fragment.

The aphorism is a difficult form: you have to be smart, terse, self-knowing, and incredibly confident. On the other hand, how many of us have lines, half-lines and phrases we’ve always wanted to use? Well, now’s the time to dust them off, as aphorisms and fragments work best in groups. In fact, Don Paterson has a whole book of them, The Book of the Shadows, from which the below are excerpts.

My work is the deferral of work, which exhausts me; the actual work I barely notice.

Good ideas prompted, bad ideas willed.


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NaPoWriMo Day 10 – 1/3 Of The Way Through

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With a busy day ahead, I got my NaPo writing in early today. The prompts I follow from NaPoWriMo and Carrie Etter both feature people and I have enjoyed writing about Mr G and my newest nephew.

I cannot believe today we are all one third of the way through this year’s NaPoWriMo. Congratulations, that is a huge achievement.

http://www.napowrimo.net/day-ten-5/

Our featured participant today is Whimsygizmo’s Blog, where the nine-line poem for Day Nine tells us how to capture the moon!

Today’s interview is with former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey. She has written four books of poetry, including Native Guard, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2007, and a book of creative non-fiction, Beyond Katrina. Trethewey’s work draws from both her own family history and the history of the Gulf Coast where she was born. You can find a selection of her poems here.

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And now for our prompt (optional, as always). Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that is a portrait of someone important to you. It doesn’t need to focus so much on what a person looks (or looked) like, as what they are or were. If you need inspiration, here’s one of my favorite portrait poems.

NaPoWriMo.net © 2017

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For this prompt I chose a holiday snap of Mr G and just started freewriting, I was trying to focus on the telling of the person rather than describing the photograph. I managed a short poem but found most ideas were coming just as one or two lines.

So, in the end I wrote a Haiku. I am unlikely to submit this little love poem anywhere, for the first time this year you can have the full poem.

You Look Away

Your eyes are speaking,

one raised eyebrow sends me love,

perfect half smile lips.


Carrie Etter’s prompt encourages a 2nd person poem where the ‘you’ addressed is a specific person.

I wrote about my nephew and his new tricks. It was an easy write that flowed and will need to be edited but it has legs.

‘Your new trick is aeroplane arms…

you twist your neck like an owl baby

send me another smile.’


Jo Bell posted A Blade of Grass by Brian Patten. http://www.jobell.org.uk/ a discussion about the poem and lazy critics.

Ultimately, nothing we write about captures the importance of the thing itself. The signifier never quite attains to the power of the signified. Jo Bell © 2017


The Poetry School 58d3e6b0bba6c-bpfullask for a letter poem and leave some fine examples. I know Bobby Parker and had the pleasure of meeting/hearing Melissa Lee-Houghton last week at the Worcester University reading at The Hive.

Dear poets,

Melissa Lee-Houghton is currently running a course on the epistolary poem for The Poetry School. As she has said, “sometimes all we need to be able to write the thing we most need to write is to know who it is we must write to”.

But it’s the young British poet Bobby Parker (whose latest book bears a cover endorsement from Melissa) who we’ve chosen as an example. See Heroin Lullaby (or Open Letter To My Wife Upon Our Separation).

http://thequietus.com/articles/14538-poetry-heroin-lullaby-poem-by-bobby-parker
Or, for something a little less intense, have a look at Elizabeth Bishop’s Letter to NY: http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/index.php?date=2006/07/22

Ali Lewis © 2017


Happy writing!

NaPoWriMo Day 9 Prompts & Poetry

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

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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.

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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 6 – Adventure & Adversity

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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.

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http://www.napowrimo.net/day-six-5/

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).

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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.

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/blogs/stories-and-rights/book-poems-that-make-grown-men-cry-fathers-day-dad-present


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

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NaPoWriMo Day 2

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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.

https://belljarblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/01/a-little-support-for-napowrimo/

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

https://belljarblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/02/mind-the-gap-reading-what-isnt-there/


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.

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NaPoWriMo Day 1

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As we are a participating blog, I thought it sensible to keep up to date with NaPoWriMo. So far it has been a busy weekend with an event in a neighbouring County and the Poetry Ballroom. I have managed my writing time but am only just now finding a space to blog about it.

Unlike previous years (where I have more or less gone alone), this year I am in several groups and have even joined in at The Poetry School. I am using prompts from various sources to kick-start the writing. So far I have managed dual prompts from www.napowrimo.net and prompts from Carrie Etter, from her Facebook group – where we are not sharing poems (that is what the Poetry School enrolement is for), instead we are discussing some of our favourite poems and how it feels to be embarking on a crazy month of a poem a day. Carrie added a page of 30 prompts and poets have been dipping into them in random order. Out of 7 poems written so far I have 4 that I shall keep to edit and mould later in the year.

I do a draft/edit/rewrite – move on – 30 in 30 days is a pace of a thing but generally you get a sense for the ones to revisit and no writing is wasted time (in my opinion). I enjoy the challenge of this craziness and also carving out some daily writing time.

For the first time since discovering this challenge (2014), I am writing longhand in notebooks. That in itself makes a change to my normal practise.

DAY 1: SATURDAY

http://www.napowrimo.net/day-one-it-begins/ napo2017button1

I wrote Day 1 in the early hours of Day 2, I learnt a few years back that when you are busy FORGIVE yourself for not writing to deadline, the world will not collapse.

The main prompt at Naponet was a Kay-Ryan-esque poem: short, tight lines, rhymes interwoven throughout…

I negated mentioning animals and I think my sharp philosophical conclusion may have to be added in later edits, in was in the style as far as line/rhythm. A poem about our house, more honestly the state of our house my lifestyle has created.

I think ‘Home’ works as a complete poem but looking to post a flavour here (as blogging it in full is considered publication), I cannot choose lines that will give you much taste at all.

This year’s links from NaPo are all interviews with a poet, whether you are joining in writing this year or not I would urge you to check out the links and interviews found on the official site. Spend the month reading instead.

Today’s interview came from the Paris Review and is with Kay Ryan https://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/5889/kay-ryan-the-art-of-poetry-no-94-kay-ryan

All Your Horses By Kay Ryan https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/detail/57401

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The featured participant for DAY 1 was gloria-logo-02http://www.gloria-gonsalves.com/glopowrimonapowrimo-early-bird-spring-wedding/ with a special Early Bird prompt (Haibun) inspired by wilting tulips in her writing space.


My 2nd effort came from Carrie Etter’s first prompt, I am tackling hers in order. I wrote about a badge collection that I had almost forgotten collecting, lots of childhood memory resurfaced.

Day 2 napo2017button2 suggested using a recipe for inspiration, I found an Ancient Roman recipe and rewrote it as a couple attempting to conceive. An interesting exercise.

Over at The Poetry School the prompt was to write a long thin poem.

It is that time of year AGAIN! NaPoWriMo

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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/

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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.

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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
    TRANSLATED BY CLARE CAVANAGH
  • 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.

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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!

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