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What is NaPoWriMo, you ask? 

Well, it’s the National Poetry Writing Month, in which participants challenge themselves and each other to write one poem a day each day of April, so 30 new poems in 30 days!

I love this challenge, and have gotten some very unexpected poems from it, as the daily prompts and my commitment to exploring what exists inside of me based on those prompts often unleashes my voice in ways I had no idea it was attempting to announce itself. People who know me, know that I have maintained a commitment to writing EVERY SINGLE DAY for over twenty-three YEARS and even though that practice of landing on the page every day has honed my ability to listen to that creative voice inside of me, I still find myself surprised by at least once a week during this challenge. The poem in the photo below is an excerpt from a poem I wrote during last year’s NaPoWriMo challenge. I have no idea where it cam from, but a year later and I’m still pleased with it.

I hope you’ll consider joining us this year so that you can steep yourself in your own voice rising and in poems by others along for the challenge via the NaPoWriMo website.

And, as April is National Poetry Month, there are a lot of ways to celebrate poetry available. The Academy of American Poets will email you a Poem A Day or you can participate in their Poem in Your Pocket Day event on April 27th. There are also poetry readings and festivals happening all over the United States, so check out your local options and attend a reading in your area. Wait…you say there are NO poetry readings in your town? Perhaps you might consider organizing and hosting one. Most local coffee shops, independent bookstores, libraries and bars are usually open to offering their space for poetry events, so explore the options and bring people together to share their poems in public.

There are so many options, and only 30 days. However you join us, I hope you enjoy this month and all of the poems that speak to a voice inside of your heart.

All peace to each one of you.
Dora E. McQuaid

Photo by Kathryn Scott Osler/The Denver Post

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