This month I received an e-mail about a month-long online writing “camp” hosted by NaNoWriMo, happening next month, which caused me to remember that April is also National Poetry Writing Month.
What a coincidental combination. I couldn’t help but wonder that perhaps the two were happening at just the right time. Camp NaNoWriMo lets you choose “flexible writing goals,” the smallest being 10,000 words, so that’s what I put. I don’t know if it’s practical to expect that I’ll write quite that much, since poetry is so different than prose, but my personal goal is to write at least one poem each day, no matter how terrible.
I came across another site called NaPoWriMo that offers poetry writing prompts each day during April, so I would like to follow that as well.
Then of course, there is also our very own Fifteen Minutes of Fiction which offers weekly writing prompts, and a writer’s page to publish writing. We are also planning to post only poetry prompts during the month of April.
I have no idea how it will turn out, I just know that I need to get back into writing, and nothing’s going to happen unless I start. As a preparation, I’ve been reading poetry from different poets that I like, such as “Rough Cradle” by Betsy Sholl, who taught my Poetry Workshop class when I was at USM. I’ve also been reading Annie Dillard lately (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, and Teaching a Stone to Talk), and while she’s not a poet, her writing is so evocative and image-filled that it oftentimes seems very poetic to me. I’ve read a few more by Billy Collins too, who has the wonderful ability to say so much in so little space.
And that’s one of the major traits of poetry, isn’t it? An awful lot of feeling, imagery, and meaning, all packed into a small space, often written with meter and rhyme and other literary structures to hold it together. I love this stuff. Spring is no longer the only reason I’m looking forward to April!