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 National Poetry Month in the United States of America and Canada.
This website is owned and operated by Maureen Thorson, a poet living in Washington, DC. Inspired by NaNoWriMo, 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 Espresso Europia Coffee Shop in Abilene Tx while I was in the United States Air Force. 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 2020 I started publishing my podcast version of the challenge and those can be viewed here for 2020 and here for 2021.
What I am doing differently for Poetry Month
For 2023 I am not going to be just writing poems in April, I will be writing poems all year round. Also, since I will be writing all year round, I am using a different source for my prompts. There is a blog called Think Written and you can find it here. I will also be performing these works at Katora Coffee House here in Fredericksburg Virginia on their Friday Night Snaps Open Mic Poetry reading. Some of the podcast episodes you will hear will be a live recording of me reading the poem to a live audience, other times I will be reading it in the comfort of my home studio. I do plan on posting my work to the NaPoWriMo site and interacting with the poets there and see if they want to read their work on this podcast.
Todays Poetry Prompt
Signs of the Times: How has a place you are familiar with changed over the past 10 years?
14 April 2023
I lived in this neighborhood for a year or so
Top floor, facing south, seeing Wrigley Field from a distance
Two blocks from the Green Mill
And the Red Line El
Someone in the neighborhood had rescue greyhounds
They would walk them around
Stop for coffee and water at the local Starbucks
The one that had a drive by when I was with my girl at the time
A great Mexican restaurant that was open late
Due to all the bars in the area
Grabbing my first real horchata
And just steps from Montrose Beach
But I moved away
To be with my wife
To start a new life
But I can’t let go of the place
So I signed up for the Uptown Facebook group
And I get notifications daily
The Uptown Theater that had been closed for decades
Being revamped and reopened
Meaning that the bookstore next door
Had to clean up its act or move out
That bookstore stank of cigarettes and cat piss
Is no longer there
Not able to get enough Chantix to quit their habit
Not able to keep up with the bigger bookstores
That closed down before I left
I miss this place
Even though I wasn’t there that long
Moving through the crowds
And having my doc just a few blocks away
Having my dentist who played the rat Packs greatest hits
And picked up conversations started months in-between visits
I didn’t have to drive anywhere
Even to get groceries
Jewel, pronounced with an S at the end
Again, was mere steps away
But now they have changed the feeling
They have changed the stores
The rents have gone through the roof
Now there is no one there I know
The shops don’t have the same feel
Even the thugs that did the drive by have moved away to the burbs
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