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
Weirder Than Fiction: Think of the most unbelievable moment in your life and write a poem about the experience.
Just Passing Through
11 April 2023
I had just got on the last bus headed for home
It was dark, and cold, and since the windows were tinted
I felt blind to the outside world
My carryon was in my lap
Turning on the overhead light
I noticed that the passenger next to me was reading
I pulled out my borrowed copy of a book
The author isn’t important
Someone I should have been enjoying
But this was not a good book to start with
When my seatmate heard my yawn for the fifth time in 10 minutes
He asked me what I was reading
When I showed him, he asked if was it my first time with this author
Yes it was and I wasn’t enjoying it at all was my response
I let him know it was a borrowed book from a friend who thought I’d dig it
But it just wasn’t working for me
The passenger opened his carryon bag
Handed me another book by the same author
Here read this, it moves faster than the one you have
I tried to politely decline since my stop was in 5 hours
If you don’t finish take it with you
You can give it to me the next time you see me
I thought this was preposterous but accepted is offer
So, I read with amazement for 5 hours until my stop
As I got up to leave, I tried to hand the book back to him
He said nope, give it to me when we see each other again
I offered to pay for the book
Again, he declined and said to give it back when we see each other
Taking the book to the place at that time I called home
My mother told me she wanted no books
From Satanists in her house
She wanted to throw it out or burn it
But I let her know it was on loan and it was expected to be returned
She said I had met a devil on the bus
I said I had met a human
Causing the trip home to be contentious
Two years later I found myself on another bus
Again, the last one out of the station
I made sure to bring the borrowed book
And just like that, he was there
I sat next to him and held out the book
He smiled and said great you are ready for book two in the series
He took the book I borrowed and replaced it with the new one
I asked when he wanted it back
He just closed his eyes and fell asleep
I haven’t been on many cross-country busses since then
To reach out to me, email firstname.lastname@example.org 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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