Ready, set to spring into Poetry Month prompts

long stairwayCan you write a book in a month? I think you can–certainly a chapbook. And what better time to try than NaPoWriMo.

I’m always trying to find ways to work on projects, poems that fit together into a whole. For poetry month, my goal is to provide prompts that will give you a body of work that, by the end of the month, could be a book–or a really good start on a book. Last year, the prompts were partly successful. Some of them built on each other, but then I threw in some random prompts–okay on their own, but not integrated into a project.

This year, I want to try working with sequences. So the prompts will be designed to work with each other, while giving you something new each day. We’ll run with a sequence for awhile, and then break it up with a stand-alone poem (so we can catch our breath). Then on to another sequence.

If you don’t want to do the sequences, feel free to hop in at anytime and use that day’s prompt to write a poem. It will work that way, too–but I want to give you the option for stringing it all together. Plus, with sequences, you don’t have to come up with as many fabulous titles. (Writing titles–spectacular titles–confounds me.)

Another change for this year–instead of posting each day’s poem and then scurrying to take it down a day later, I’m going to post my favorite line from the previous day’s poem–and I’ll invite you to share your favorite line from your poem.

To get a head start, think about an event that’s stuck with you. It might be something personal. It might be something historic that you wonder about in quiet moments. It might be a natural disaster. Just think about what haunts you. You don’t have to know why–you’ll have a month to figure that out.

And here’s another warm-up: After you’ve decided on your event, think about the voice it needs. Who writes in a voice like that? Read poems by them. That will be one of my endeavors over the weekend.

I’ll confess: It’s all a little daunting. But it will be fun. It’s supposed to be fun. It is a grand generative experiment. It’s one way to write a book.

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