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April prompts (for May meeting)

Poetry Writing and Poetry

Alternatives to NaPoWriMo

  • Snow and Drizzle (from Teach This Poem) — List in detail what you see in the video, Birds in Snow. Polish your list into a paragraph that is a vivid description of what you saw in the video. Read Howard Nemerov’s poem, Because You Asked about the Line Between Prose and Poetry. List all the words and phrases that jump out at you. Try this visually and aurally. Repeat, paying close attention to the words and phrases you wrote down. What might be the line (or difference) between prose and poetry that Nemerov refers to in his title?
  • Enjoy the April challenges on our Writing Challenges post. Pick one and work on it during the month.
  • 140 Characters — Muses and Metaphor kicks off NaPoWriMo with a different challenge. Write a poem in only 140 characters each day for the month of April.
  • Remixed Poem — Similar to a found poem, this challenge asks you to write a new poem from material already written. Find a poem, set of poems, poet or group of poets you like and remix the words and ideas in the chosen poems into a new poem that responds to them. You choose how and why you pick the poems that interest you. Mix your own words with those of the chosen poems. Indicate which poems you use as a starting point. Explain the process you use to respond to the poems you choose. But mostly, have fun with this challenge. Who knows, your response may surprise you. Come with your poems in May and share them with the group.

Spring and Fools

  • Jack and April — Episodic Jack-stories abound in oral and written story. These hilarious yarns of the brash fool teach us about the pros and cons of unrestricted abandonment and adventure. They fit perfectly with April Fool’s Day and come in the forms of folktales, poems, riddles and even articles. Entertain us with a Jack story or an April story worthy of April Fool’s Day.
  • April Showers — Spring brings a sense of freshness and anticipation. Like Autumn, it carries suspense with it, but this suspense is for awakening and exploration rather than uncertainty and hunkering. Write a poem that links the months in a fun way — for instance, April Showers bring May Flowers (though in Canada our showers and flowers are delayed a month). Or write a story where something repressed suddenly blossoms to the world — Cinderella comes to mind. Have fun with it.

From Observances to Prompts

  • April earmarks many writing and creative observances. Below are a couple you may wish to pursue.
  • 30 Letters in 30 Days — Letter or card writing has a personal feel to it. From the handwriting to the tangible paper, from the ink to the envelope and stamp, a letter or card can mean the world to its receiver. Pen pals and deep friendships can be forged through letter writing. National Card and Letter Writing Month, celebrated in April, challenges you to write and send letters (not emails) by hand. You can write as few as one or as many as one a day for the month. They can be to anyone and they can be simple or deep. To you they may mean little, but to their receiver they may bring joy or sorrow or belonging or memories. Pick someone, or thirty someones, to write to and let them know you are thought about them.
  • Deep Art — The saying suggests “stop and smell the roses”. It is healthy to put our lives aside and observe the world we often rush through. Take the time to enjoy Slow Art and pay attention to the world. It is not only relaxing but refreshing, like Spring, and inspiring, re-energizing our creativity and joy of the world. Find something you take for granted and look at it anew for 5 – 10 minutes. Really study it, then write about it or your experience. Or maybe a poem or story is inspired by this exercise and write that.
  • There are many observances this month. Check out the others and find one that fires a story, poem or article in your imagination and write in response to it.
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