Maureen Thorson: On NaPoWriMo
March 26, 2014
This is a guest post by the founder of NaPoWriMo, Maureen Thorson.
Back in 2003, I decided that I would write a poem every day in April. I called the project NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) and I posted the poems I wrote to my blog. The next year, I did it again — and some of my friends joined in. Things snowballed from there. Last year, more than 2000 poets participated, via www.napowrimo.net.
One of my greatest pleasures is seeing how many people end up writing great poems, or even whole books, based on ideas they started to play with in their NaPoWriMo poems. In fact, my new book, My Resignation, grew out of the poems I wrote during the 2008 NaPoWriMo.
Originally, I used the NaPoWriMo website just to link to the blogs of poets who were participating. Over the past few years, I’ve added more resources for participants, including optional daily prompts.
Many poets are intimidated by sitting down to write; they feel an expectation that they produce only serious, finished work. The prompts give poets something to focus on other than these self-cancelling feelings — a new form, or a specific group of words, perhaps a goofy title. Maybe the prompts result in finished poems, maybe the poet just has fun experimenting. The point is, at least something gets written!
Interested? It’s easy to participate! If you want to follow the prompts, great. If not, that’s fine too. If you want to post poems to your blog, and/or have your blog linked to on www.napowrimo.net, we’d love to see them. But there’s no pressure. The only thing you need to do is try to write a poem a day in April.
. . . . .
Maureen Thorson is the author of two books of poetry, My Resignation (Shearsman Books 2014) and Applies to Oranges (Ugly Duckling Presse 2011). She coordinates the NaPoWriMo website, where you’ll find poetry prompts, links to featured poets, and other writing resources each day during the month of April.