NaPoWriMo 2013: Five Favorites

There are just a few hours left in NaPoWriMo 2013 — that is, National Poetry Writing Month, which asks participants to write a poem every day in April — and hundreds of resident WordPress poets are pressing “Publish” on their final stanzas and sighing with relief and satisfaction.

We’ve loved reading all the verse that floated across our Readers this month, whether from brand-new bloggers committed to the 30-day challenge, long-time poets, or non-poet bloggers who were inspired to try something new. We learned about new-to-us poetic forms, we were moved, we looked at familiar topics in a new light.

Here are five of our favorite sites, from WordPress poets new and old:

Tychogirl

Tychogirl isn’t just a poet, she’s an astropoet. We’re intrigued by her astronomy-focused work, and by her “redacted poems” — poems created by taking an existing page of text and blacking out all but the words she chooses to focus on:

"We Separate," by Tychogirl.

We Separate,” by Tychogirl.

Using astronomy texts and data for her redacted poems gives them additional depth and places her work in a historical context. We were excited to see her participating in NaPoWriMo, and continue looking forward to her daily doses of interplanetary free verse.

Everyday Poetry

Poets are often depicted as as lone scribblers, sitting in solitude, reaching for the perfect metaphor as the candle burns down and drips wax onto a half-empty sheet of paper. Everyday Poetry turned that archetype on its head — its five contributors banded together to support one another through the NaPoWriMo challenge. We loved getting five new poems each day with a single click, as well as the subtle way they invited our participation both with their blog, NaPoWriMo, and poetry generally:

And remember, every comment is just a tiny poem,

waiting to grace the pages of the internet.

Rooktopia

While we rejoiced in the proliferation of poetry-focused blogs, we also enjoyed watching non-poetry blogs explore new forms of expression. Rooktopia covers everything from comic books to pop culture to sports with a bit of poetry in the mix, but was fully dedicated to the NaPoWriMo challenge. Looking for a long-form poems on love, poem made entirely of cheese puns, or inspirational post on the craft and process of writing poetry? They’re all in here. we relished the way this part-time poet dove into NaPoWriMo and explored different topics and forms.

A Poem and a Drawing a Day

Since mid-2012, blogger Dawn Whitehead has been doing exactly what her title promises: publishing an original poem and original piece of artwork, every day.

Original pastel, Day Two Hundred and Eighty.

Original pastel on handmade paper, Day Two Hundred and Eighty.

It was fascinating tuning in each day to see one new idea explored in both text and image. Her sharp digital drawings and moody pastels are perfectly paired with her poems, each adding new dimensions to the other.

My Brain is the Cliff

Another WordPress.com newcomer for NaPoWriMo, we appreciated this no-frills focus on the poetry. A simple theme, minimal information about the blogger, and basic titles help the poems themselves command all the attention — and they’re worth it.

Listen, kid. Your own reflection
scared you, your nose drifting
into your eye in the plastic mirror
they make for babies who can’t handle
THE REAL THING.

Your monsters eat cereal and sing
songs that rhyme; mine don’t.

There are thousands of other poetry blogs; we wish we could highlight more! If you have a favorite site for poetry or found a great new NaPoWriMo blog this month, please share. You can also browse all registered NaPoWriMo participants’ sites on the NaPoWriMo site, and find great pieces every day under the Reader’s “Poetry” topic.

Congrats to all the bloggers who took up the NaPoWriMo gauntlet! We hope it helped kickstart your creative juices, and look forward to a lot more beautiful verse.


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Michelle W.

42 Comments

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  1. mennalynne

    Who all made it through NaPoWriMo 2013? I’d like to see how many other fellow poets managed to get through it?!

    Like

    • michelle w.

      The NaPoWriMo site lists all the blogs that registered, but doesn’t track completion. Perhaps they’ll have a follow-up post in the next few days to gather that info.

      Like

  2. carolinejuliette

    I’m disappointed not to see PJ Bayliss is not on your list. I know he has been participating, I’ve been following his blog. He’s a wonderful poet and one of my personal favorites. His site is peejaybayliss.wordpress :)

    Like

  3. Kristen Chapman Gibbons

    Reblogged this on Big Blue Dot Y'all and commented:
    Fantastico. Even if you aren’t a “poet” you can try to find words that suit what you need to express. It doesn’t ever have to be seen by anyone but you. Try.

    Like

  4. sarahverhoeven93

    That first one is really beautifull! I love it!

    Like

  5. casius0

    Reblogged this on she spoke words of self proposed wisdom. and commented:
    Always great to get recommendations for blogs to read!

    Like

  6. El Santo

    Oh my gosh.

    Thanks for putting me on your Five Faves list, guys!

    I am really, really, REALLY honored!

    Like

  7. purpleperceptions

    Thanks so much for these links! NaPoWriMo 2013 was an absolute blast! This was the first time i participated, and im a little shocked I made it to the end. Now.. Can’t wait for next year’s to come along!

    Like

  8. Heather

    This is amazing!

    Like

  9. Leslie Stockton

    I wish them luck .. I shall begin looking more in the reader these days .. <3 wonderful ..

    Like

  10. John Burke

    Another WordPress Poetry site that invites contributions from readers http://wonderbookofpoetry.org/ Definitely worth a look.

    Like

  11. Niejan

    This is pretty cool!

    Like

  12. Waywardspirit

    Missed some days of NaPoWriMo
    Yet oh how my joy did not suffer! Didn’t imagine such a soul banquet yet I feasted. Searved every day I showed up to write and respond. Walking and reading working up an appetite for thought courting feeling. The company and gifts of friends and community changed forever! My community poem new.

    Like

  13. elcidharth

    Goodbye NaPoWriMo, Hello NaProsWriMo
    Just Kidding.

    Like

  14. Lauren

    Wow, thanks for the mention.

    Like

  15. One Day Closer To My Dream Life

    Thank you for the nudge and the inspiration! I have never blogged before, so this was a HUGE learning curve, but it was terrific – I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    The daily prompts were a great idea too and because of them I discovered and tried different things. I didn’t QUITE manage the full 30 poems – 26, I think – but will try again next year! Thanks again for all of YOUR effort… :-)

    Like

  16. Dawn Whitehand

    Thanks so much for including me in your top five :-) I’m chuffed!!

    Like

  17. Dawn Whitehand

    Reblogged this on Dawn Whitehand: Visual Artist and commented:
    As some readers may know I have been participating in National Poetry Writing Month aka NaPoWrMo on my ‘other’ blog, along with thousands of other obsessed writers.
    Upon waking this morning and logging on to my WordPress account I found that I had made it to the WordPress top 5 for the challenge – woop woop!
    I think I may have bubbles tonight!

    Like

  18. judeparsons

    I managed to complete the challenge! Great fun! Thanks for organising this :-)

    Like

  19. 3rangelinheaven

    Reblogged this on The Mixed-Up Files of a Reader/Writer and commented:
    Hey guys! I participated in the 2012 NANOWRIMO in November, challenging me to write a book in a month. This is cool too!

    Like

  20. Jennifer's Journal

    Congratulations to the favourite picks. Keep on waxing poetic, people! :)

    Like

  21. deWriterMD

    Reblogged this on MetaRead360 Small Press presents and commented:
    I’m not a poet…but I appreciate a well-written poem!

    Like

  22. Scriptor Obscura

    This is a great site for poetry, I’ve been following him for a long time. He deserves more recognition for his stuff. He writes some science-related poems too, he’s a chemist. I really like his stuff.

    He wasn’t officially participating in NaPoWriMo, but he wrote a lot of stuff this month anyway. Might like to check it out.

    http://joe2poetry.wordpress.com/

    He has another blog for stories too.

    Like

  23. susannabarbee

    I think posting a poem a day is an awesome goal, and I may join in on the fun next April. Just curious. Did you post to your followers every day? If so, I wonder if they enjoyed the poetry or felt inundated with extra posts. Any thoughts?

    Like

  24. vaughtgn

    Reblogged this on I Will Try This at Home and commented:
    I completely forgot that April is National Poetry Writing Month when I started this experiment. I guess late is better than never.

    Like

  25. poetrytoinspire

    Even though I have written a poem every day for 15 1/2 years, I enjoyed the challenge of following the prompts and having to post a poem every day during April. Thanks for a different experience.

    Like

  26. happy holly project

    I did it! I posted the last poem / verse today. Will probably do one giant repost of all thirty in one blog entry tomorrow …

    Great fun … and am relieved it is over. Lots of new followers … lots of hits … lots of likes.

    Also submitted them and some more i wrote to go with it to Camp NaNoWriMo. And in the FWIW category, I have posted every day (including one “real” and one poem each day this month) since I started the one year Happy Holly Project back on June 24th. Almost a year, but not quite … yet.

    Like

  27. hillarysangel

    Thank you so much for the daily prompts. I could never have done this without them. I really looked forward to them and wish they could keep coming. Now that I must fill the gap with creativity of a more “productive” kind, I suspect it won’t be easy to keep up the momentum on my own!

    Like

  28. Maria

    I’m with mennalynne – would love a list and links to the sites of those who made it.

    Like

  29. LottoSales

    Well done to all the artistic types who took part in NaPoWriMo! Keep up the great work and keep culture and art alive!

    Like

  30. wordcoaster

    Thanks for highlighting some great poets! A poetry blog I enjoy frequenting is http://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/
    He has a great mixture of original and classic poetry; there’s something for everyone. :)

    Like

  31. Kay Kauffman

    I didn’t know there was a website for NaPoWriMo! Thanks for sharing the link – there are a bunch of neat sites there, including mine, now. :)

    Like

  32. sameernahar

    It definitely was fun, though i could not help but let a sigh out :) Could not get to 30, but hoping for a complete run next time!

    Like

  33. tychogirl

    Thanks so much for the mention! I’m deeply honored to be chosen! Your kind thoughts arrived close on the heels of another very cool happening: a linguist whose voice was recorded on the NASA Voyager Golden Record (launched for deep space in 1977) found and liked my Golden Record poem. Between these two incredible moments, I don’t think my feet touched the ground all day. Thanks again from the bottom of my heart.

    Like

  34. symbolonfamily

    Reblogged this on S Y M B O L O N and commented:
    Wish I had done this. Can I just do my own in the month of June?

    Like

  35. David Beau

    I wish I had remembered to participate this month! Next year I would plod my poetry all the live long day!

    Like

  36. Cate Pane

    My 13 year-old son wanted to share his favorite poem with you. He wrote it in 5th grade. He has been studying violin for 9 years.

    I Live in Violin Music

    I live in violin music.
    Is this where you live?
    I live in a symphony of harmony.
    I live on the intersection of concertos and symphonies.
    My mom lives on Opera Boulevard.
    do you live in violin music?
    bittersweet music
    comes down on me like rain from the sky.
    The fingers of music grasp my face
    and hold on so tightly that
    I have to keep playing,
    either a sad Adagio or a glad Gavotte.
    I got four silver strings where other people have vocal cords,
    and a chinrest for both sides of my heart.
    I walk around with my violin like somebody else be walkin’ in a
    loud marching band.
    I live in violin music
    live in it
    I could even box it and listen to it again
    music falls so dripping with emotion you could
    play a sweet song where your arm is and
    hold yourself
    hold yourself in violin music.

    by Steve Pane
    May 2010

    Like

  37. windwalker07

    I’m not really good at using WordPress so I didn’t know how to find you to share some of my poems; but I posted one everyday. I liked the challenge, I would have liked to see some of other people’s poems for inspiration but somehow I managed. (even on that one day when I remembered I needed a poem with only 15 minutes left to the day). But now the month is over and I can’t stop feeling the need to write poetry. Thanks for the push in a new (good) direction.

    Like

  38. OYIN

    I started but couldn’t finish :(.I write poems a lot but not daily, NaPoWriMo was a challenge.I hope I do better next year!:D To see some of my poems log on to beautifulyorubadiva.wordpress.com. I love the astropoet girl tho!

    Like

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