Monday, March 30, 2015

National Poetry Month Challenge

April is National Poetry Month, the time each year when writers, readers, publishers, and libraries celebrate the vital, vibrant position that poetry holds in our culture.

One great thing about poetry is that (just like any other kind of writing) everyone can do it. Not to say that everyone can do it well, but a lack of skill shouldn't preclude an attempt. You get better at something by practicing, after all.

For most of us, though, writing poetry is about having fun with words, not improving a specific skill.

For National Poetry Month 2015, I'm setting myself a challenge to post a new, original poem every day of the month. Granted, most of them will be extremely short — haiku or senryu — but not all of them. I think it'll be fun, but what would make it even more fun is sharing the challenge with others.

Are you up to the challenge?

If you've got a blog and want to set yourself on this poetic trial, let me know — in the comments here, on Facebook, on Twitter, or on Google+. I'll happily link to your daily blog poems when I post my own. If enough people are into it, I might even put together a nice little badge for those who complete all 30 poems.

Tips for writing a poem every day

  1. Work ahead.
  2. At least once, write a type of poem you haven't written before — a sonnet, free verse, a limerick, whatever.
  3. Nothing good rhymes with orange.
  4. Make every word count.

The super-challenge

You're free to write whatever types of poems you like (you'll be posting to your own blog, after all), but I'll give bonus points (in the form of excessive praise) to anyone who writes a single epic poem in 30 parts.

About National Poetry Month

Find out more about National Poetry Month (and download the logo I'm using here) at the website for the Academy of American Poets. And over the next month, follow #npm15 on Twitter to find out what people are saying about National Poetry Month.