Monday 1 April 2013

And so National Poetry Month begins!

After all that build-up seeking fellow poets to join me in writing a poem a day, the month has arrived, and fortunately, I'm still on spring break. This time I have several projects I'd like to continue with: Gretel, 'open field' poems that tell the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale from her point of view, in third person; The Modie Box, a prose poem about my mother and her death, focused on the box file in which I keep her letters and cards to me, my letters to her, and various mementos (Modie is the first name I called her, perhaps clearer as Moddy). Additionally, I'd like to replace one of the Imagined Sons in my manuscript of the same name with a new piece, and so plan to try to write several new Imagined Sons poems. I also want to prepare a couple poems for themed contests and magazine issues, including this important competition raising money and awareness of cardiac risk in young people. I hardly need any additional inspiration to make it through the month! 

But I always have ideas for poems and don't understand writer's block per se. That won't keep me, however, from offering prompts for those who find them useful. I'll start by promoting a couple of favourite forms, the pantoum and the prose poem. If you haven't written one of them, give it a go. For more on the pantoum, see this page at the Academy of American Poets; here's their page on the prose poem. On the latter, I'd also be glad if you explored my site Sudden Prose, devoted to both prose poetry and flash fiction, with many splendid examples.

What plans do others have for National Poetry Month? I'd be glad to hear.


  1. Your post reminded me that you are known for your interest in, support of, the prose poem. A form I have never understood - either it's a poem or it's prose, get a grip! So this may be the month during which i get a grip, on the prose poem. i would like to understand it, appreciate it so thank you for your directions to helpful websites. Who knows where this will lead.

    1. You might begin by reading more of them. Do you know Jane Monson's anthology, This Line Is Not for Turning: Contemporary British Prose Poetry? I'd recommend it as a great place to start.

      If you're a Poetry Society member, I've published an article on the prose poem form in Poetry News and last summer an article on the state of the prose poem in Poetry Review. If you aren't a member and would like to read them, simply provide me with an email address, and I'll send them to you.

      Let me know how you get on with it! Good luck!

  2. One down, 29 to go... thanks for this Carrie!

  3. I'll be working on poems for my year as Canal Laureate, and some for my collaborative book with Martin Malone, Fireships. But that's just what I *intend* to do. Which means that very likely, all the poems which come to my mind will be about teabags or hysterectomies.

  4. The nearest I get to prose poems is the haibun, and that's a form I'm very fond of. I may do one or two of them for NaPoWriMo, but my first poem, on the prompt word 'volcano' is written. Tomorrow's prompt is 'oceans', so we'll see how I get on with that.