National Poetry Month Begins!

Today marks the beginning of National Poetry Month. Each year I toy with the idea of participating, but I’ve always found it hard to commit after the demands of daily writing in March with the TWT Slice of Life Challenge. This year Margaret Simon and I came up with a very flexible plan for the month. We created a grid of 30 blocks and wrote a poetry form or choice in each one. I’m trying to view it not so much as a plan as a planlette. My focus is on being flexible, low stakes and fun. We used a calendar grid, but there are no dates (although I will admit, the ultimate goal is to check each box at some point during the month). Still, there’s no order and no expectation. I’m trying to think of it as a playground of possibility, not an overwhelming to-do list. You are invited to play along if you’d like. Here it is, all prettified by Margaret.

For my first choice I decided to go over to Laura Purdie Salas’s NPM project. Since I already mentioned playgrounds, this feels like a fitting place to begin. In a nutshell, Laura’s providing 5 topic choices and an array of magnetic words to work with. She’s aptly named it “Digging for Poems.” When I first read about her project, I commented, “I feel like you just opened a new playground and invited everyone in to play with you!”

Again, that’s my lens for the month. Play. Low stakes. Fun. We’ll see if I can keep that lens in place…

Here are two quick responses to Laura’s prompt for today:


Soft chick.


behind cover of smoke
soft pink glow
break on through

Wishing you a month filled with noticing and wondering about the poetry hidden in your everyday moments. As Naomi Shahib Nye writes so eloquently in “A Valentine for Ernest Mann”,

“So I’ll tell a secret instead:
poems hide. In the bottoms of our shoes,
they are sleeping. They are the shadows
drifting across our ceilings the moment 
before we wake up. What we have to do
is live in a way that lets us find them.”

6 thoughts on “National Poetry Month Begins!

  1. maryleehahn says:

    Let the PLAY begin!


  2. lynnedorfman says:

    Very tempting! I hope to blog this month, 3 to 4 times a week. It will be poetry. I love your poems Baby and Wisdom. The first made me smile. The second one made me think. I will follow you this month.


  3. I woke up kind of missing SOL. I’m thinking about poetry. Playing sounds fun. Love this poem “A Valentine for Ernest Mann”!


  4. margaretsmn says:

    Thanks for joining me this month. The low stakes is already serving me well. I love Naomi’s advice that we just need to be open to them and they will come. I need to hop over to LPS’s site today to join the sandbox.


  5. Such a helpful and hopeful lens for the month. Poetry as a playground really appeals to me this month!


  6. […] have to see how it all unfolds. (If you’re wondering what my project is, you can check out this post. If this all feels a bit unstructured, well…that’s kind of my NPM […]


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