NaPoWriMo Prompts

Ah, a work-in-progress!

National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) is held annually in April. It celebrates poetry and the writing of poetry.

If you haven’t participated in NaPoWriMo, I urge you to try it this year. Writing a poem a day for thirty straight days is quite a challenge. NaPoWriMo is a generative exercise which can result in a large amount of new poems. It has helped me stretch my work and ability.

NaPoWriMo can also be quite enjoyable. For me, the key is to take ownership of the challenge and ensure that it is working for you. Your poems don’t have to be finalized or polished; you might treat them as drafts you’ll return to over the course of the year and revise.

You can use another poet’s prompts, your own prompts, or a mix of these. Your poems can be any length. It’s likely much easier to write 30 short poems rather than 30 long poems.

You may post your poems on your blog or on social media sites, or you may read poems at open mics in your area. I encourage you to submit your best work to literary journals you read and admire. Follow guidelines closely.

I’ve used other poets’ prompts one year and my own prompts (write poems about—or influenced by—Padden Creek, a local creek). Each year’s exercise was very productive. That first year I wrote 30 poems; the next year I wrote nearly thirty-five poems. I’ve posted some of my NaPoWriMo poems on this blog.

Many poets have devised series of poem writing prompts for NaPoWriMo. I invite you to use any or all of the following prompts in working on your thirty poems in thirty days.

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