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
Fast Food: Write a poem about fast food restaurants and experiences.
After The Casino
11 April 2023
Driving through the fog of West Virginia
Taking the backroads because my car can’t do 75
Before everyone and their brother had cell phone coverage
We both struggled to keep our eyes open
We should have probably grabbed some food on the way out of the casino
We had both won a tidy sum that paid for the trip and the rent for the next two months
We didn’t notice when we crossed back into Virginia
Because at night, most states look the same
With the last cigarette tossed out of the window
And a few hours until we arrived at home
We pulled over at a gas station and Waffle House
Conjoined at the hip
The sun was still a few hours away
We entered the gas station and purchased our brand of addiction
Relived ourselves in the grimy bathroom
And found a seat in the empty restaurant
The sounds of the bells and whistles
From the plethora of machines drowned out the waitress
And it took longer than it should have to take our order
All three of us were tired
But only 1 was being paid to be here
And it wasn’t my passenger and I
My passenger stated his order
as I was downing the first cup of coffee
Then it was my turn to interact
Mindlessly I ordered breakfast and some soup
The waitress appeared to me
And thinking she was referring to us
Two white boys in the middle of the night
Driving a car in need of serious repair
Smelling of smoke and speaking loudly
We both broke out in laughter
The waitress asked what was so funny
I replied you called us crackers
No, crackers for your soup is what I asked
You boys look a little rough tonight how far have you got to go
We let her know and talked to her till the sun rose
We were well fed
Energized from the copious amount of coffee
Ready to take on the final leg of the journey
And to this day, when either of us hears the word crackers
To reach out to me, email email@example.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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