National Poetry Writing Month
April 2024


April 4


Prompt from NaPoWriMo: Our prompt for the day challenges you to write a poem in which you take your title or some language/ideas from The Strangest Things in the World. First published in 1958, the book gives shortish descriptions of odd natural phenomena, and is notable for both its author’s turn of phrase and intermittently dubious facts. Perhaps you will be inspired by the “The Self-Perpetuating Sponge” or “The World’s Biggest Sneeze.” Or maybe the quirky descriptions of luminous plants, monstrous bears, or the language of ravens will give you inspiration.

April 3


Prompt from NaPoWriMo: Today, we’d like to challenge you to write a surreal prose poem. For inspiration, check out Franz Kafka’s collection of short parables (my favorite is “The Green Dragon”).

April 2


Prompt from NaPoWriMo: Today, we’d like to challenge you to write a platonic love poem. In other words, a poem not about a romantic partner, but some other kind of love – your love for your sister, or a friend, or even your love for a really good Chicago deep dish pizza. The poem should be written directly to the object of your affections (like a letter is written to “you”), and should describe at least three memories of you engaging with that person/thing.

April 1

Antwerp train station, high arches, glass floor, he slumps in the crumpled raincoat, papers spilling out the rucksack slung over his shoulder. A finding. Accident, encounters, appointments across Europe, Spain, France, Belgium, England. He has never known who he is, not even his name, has spent his life immersed in the intellectual pursuit of architectural buildings, fortresses, monuments, churches, train stations. So many blanks. Until he learns he was put on a Kindertransport, age four, and shipped to Wales to be raised by an austere pastor. Held by the younger truer self in a flickering memory of his mother, a grainy film of her as an actress.

Prompt from NaPoWriMo: Today, we’d like to challenge you to write – without consulting the book – a poem that recounts the plot, or some portion of the plot, of a novel that you remember having liked but that you haven’t read in a long time.