Four Ways to Participate during National Poetry Month, 2010

UPDATE: 3.17.2010 I’ve added a couple of links, to the guidelines at Poetic Asides and the link to receive a poem a day in your email from 3.30.2010 I’ve added the link to the RWP pledge post, also in the sidebar.

April is National Poetry Month. I’m on time this year—for me anyway. So get ready to read about great online poetry sites to experience. Today, I want to share with you the ways I have found to write in community.

A bit about National Poetry Month:

Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month is now held every April, when publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools and poets around the country band together to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture. Thousands of businesses and non-profit organizations participate through readings, festivals, book displays, workshops, and other events.


There’s also a more detailed Q&A about the project and you can read about how far-reaching it. The main goal is to bring poetry in all its glory and beneficence, to the front of people’s minds in the month of April, and hopefully beyond. There are lots of ways you can find groups to write and read with.

Find Your Writing Group

What we who deign to write poems do, is write a poem a day during the month of April. You can join a group and follow their prompts, create your own group, or just write them on your own. If you want to be read, be sure to find a place to post, like on a Twitter hashtag, (more on that in a bit). Following are sites I’ve found for group poetry writing:

  1. Read Write Poem
  2. Poetic Asides
  3. NaPoWriMo
  4. Twitter hashtags

In November 2009 I followed the prompts and wrote with Poetic Asides and wrote a poem for each day. Writing in community may spur you on, too.

How They Work

I’m a member of the Read Write Poem site, a growing community that includes writers and readers of poetry. You can join, but you don’t have to, in order to participate in and read much of what’s shared there. You can create an account on the site, join the NaPoWriMo group and be ready to get started. In most instances joining the site is not a requirement to read what’s shared. Check it out.


You can formally participate by signing up at the Read Write Poem pledge post.

Robert Lee Brewer’s Poetic Asides has nothing to join. He shares a lot of great information and prompts and the poem a day challenge twice a year, in April and November. For participation he strongly encourages you to post your poem in his comments. It was a hassle for me in November, (it never worked). Still, his prompts were fun. So, I participated and tweeted the poem I posted in the #novpad Twitter hashtag that was created.

No Prompting Required

Prompt-free writing is a nice option if you like. Following are two ways you share what you write.

NaPoWriMo, the website is new to me. I only recently found its minimalist site. A very cool idea if you’re not interested in prompts: There are no prompts. You just write your poems.You can get listed by sending them an email with your name and site, and people can read your work. And, you can keep up with other participants’ writings by clicking their links in the list.

Find the Twitter hashtag that suits you and post the link. Readers are looking. Some of the poetry related hashtags that I search regularly include #poetry, #poem, and #poets. You’ll definitely find some poets sharing links to their works.

Find Poems to Read

If you’re not ready to write a poem a day, but want to read your fill, then you can visit the same links as the writers. Peruse the comments in the prompt post to read what the participants have posted and visit links to their sites.

If you want peotry in your inbox, you can subscribe to any blogs with RSS feeds. And to find more poetry sites, check out the following resources.

Google Alerts: You can sign up for anything that interests you, including poetry, and Google will send you an email (at a frequency you choose) containing links and excerpts from sites that meet your criteria.

Blog Catalog: Search for POETRY in the catalog, and you’ll find a LONG list of sites related to poetry that you can explore to find what you want to read. Receive a poem a day in your email for the month of April. All you need to do is read it. So much the better if you’re then inspired to write one.

Never Forget: Explore the Blogroll

Take advantage of the breadth of the internet! Review the blogroll, or whatever it’s named, on the sites you like. Your sources of great poetry increase exponentially when you take advantage of blogrolls.

I hope to see you around the blogosphere. Let me know your plans. And, don’t lose site of the fact that all this work is meant to be fun.


About Shari Smothers

Welcome to Telling Stories, my creative writing space. My name is Shari Smothers. Poems help me to understand the world and to explain my world to others. They're my premier story telling tools. There's more to come, so please share with me through reading, commenting, emailing. Learn more about Shari here. And do come again!

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