History of National Poetry Writing Month

National Poetry Writing Month (also known as NaPoWriMo) is a creative writing project held annually in April in which participants attempt to write a poem each day for one month. NaPoWriMo coincides with the National Poetry Month in the United States of America and Canada.

NaPoWriMo, or National Poetry Writing Month, is an annual project in which participating poets attempt to write a poem a day for the month of April.

This website is owned and operated by Maureen Thorson, a poet living in Washington, DC. Inspired by NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month), she started writing a poem a day for the month of April back in 2003, posting the poems on her blog. When other people started writing poems for April, and posting them on their own blogs, Maureen linked to them. After a few years, so many people were doing NaPoWriMo that Maureen decided to launch an independent website for the project.

My History with National Poetry Writing Month

I started writing poetry in 1988 after I had been exposed to T.S. Elliot in my honors English class in high school. In 1992 I started reading my poetry publicly at Espesso Europia Coffee Shop in Abilene Tx while I was in the United States Air Force. This continued for many years when I ran my own poetry reading at Cannova's in Loves Park Illinois and attended the poetry slams at The green Mill in Chicago Illinois. While living in Rockford Illinois I published my first book of poetry Throwing Yourself at the Ground and Missing in 2007 followed by Postcards From Someone You Don't Know in 2008 Wisdom From the Sack in 2010 and Shaving Crop Circles In My Chest Hair in 2017. You can get copies of all of these books in my merch section. In 2009 I started participating in National Poetry Writing Month which became the basis for my book Wisdom From the Sack and Shaving Crop Circles in My Chest Hair. In 2020 I started publishing my podcast version of the challenge and those can be viewed here for 2020 and here for 2021.

April 29th Poetry Prompt

And here’s our prompt (optional, as always). In certain versions of the classic fairytale Sleeping Beauty, various fairies or witches are invited to a princess’s christening, and bring her gifts. One fairy/witch, however, is not invited, and in revenge for the insult, lays a curse on the princess. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem in which you muse on the gifts you received at birth — whether they are actual presents, like a teddy bear, or talents – like a good singing voice – or circumstances – like a kind older brother, as well as a “curse” you’ve lived with (your grandmother’s insistence on giving you a new and completely creepy porcelain doll for every birthday, a bad singing voice, etc.). I hope you find this to be an inspiring avenue for poetic and self-exploration.

April 29th Poem

He Must be Born with It 

29 April 2022 

As I stand in the back of the room 

Fiending for another smoke 

I feel every emotion coming from the poets 

Some of them are younger than my socks 

Others share their experiences that I have no reference to 

Yet I come back week after week 

Like they say to do in the meetings 

Where we just share our first names 

I’ve always been able to empathize with most anyone 

So much so I take on their struggle 

Without being asked 

Or wanted 

Because I’ve felt since day 1 

That I have to be the sacrificial lamb 

Fending for myself 

With parents who would rather drink 

Than take care of their children 

I stand outside, alone 

Flicking ashes to the ground 

Field stripping the butts 

And the young poets come up to me 

Asking how they did 

Asking if I heard their latest piece 

Quizzing me on their content 

Giving them the wisdom that has been bestowed on me 

Through years of searching 

And I pass along to them the torch 

Freshly lit with their energy and inquisitiveness 

Praying they have a better life than what I was given 

Knowing the predators that lurk just around the corner 

I try to protect them and provide them 

With an example of what I have done that works 

And what I have done that doesn’t 

This is all I can give the next generations 

The benefit of my experience 

It’s a precious gift that I wish I had been given 

Or that I would have been open enough to receive 

My spirit will be following up after I release these earthly bonds 

I expect to see 

A better world than what was left to me 

Reaching Out

To reach out to me, email timothy@createartpodcast.com I would love to hear about your journey and what you are working on. If you would like to be on the show or have me discuss a topic that is giving you trouble write in and let's start that conversation.

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