NaPoWriMo: Not a Disclaimer

This is, notwithstanding, a disclaimer. The title honours a 2006 article by Western Australian poet John Kinsella, entitled “Line Breaks and Back-Draft: Not a Defence of a Poem”. Despite its title, Kinsella’s article does offer a response to criticisms of his poem, “And Everyone Gathered in Objection Yet Again”. More interestingly, it offers insights into his writing process and objectives:

That’s what interests me: keeping enough of the form for it to be recognised as coming out of some kind of “tradition”, but radicalising enough to question the heritage and the need for variation itself.

April 1 is the beginning of the annual National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) creative writing project. The project began in the United States in 2003, and asks participating poets to write a poem a day throughout the month of April. I’ve enjoyed following friends’ contributions to the project for some years, and posted a poem a day during April 2015. I’ve decided to join the project again this year, because I enjoy (and probably need) the daily discipline and the provocation to write.

So, on to my disclaimer. Like last year, I plan to post poems of 100 or so words in length, based on a phrase, image or concept that I’ve had in mind for a while, or an idea that arises during the day – or, failing that, a writing prompt from @hourlyprompts. Each poem will be a single “prose” paragraph, as that’s the way I usually draft the kind of poem I intend to write and post. All of the poems will be “very draft”. That’s the nature (and some of the attraction) of the project: a sort of “go[ing] on your nerve”, even if it’s not quite what Frank O’Hara had in mind.

The project should be as much about encouraging the reading of poetry, as the writing of poems, so I also intend to include a link to an online poem (at least) that’s in some way complementary, as an entremet.

Stay tuned for the poems…


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