National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) was founded by Maureen Thorson in 2003 and encourages participants to write a poem a day during the month of April. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate National Poetry Month!
I’m a bit afraid of writing poetry. When I try to craft a poem, I freeze. I hope to overcome my fear by writing through it. This year, I’m using NaPoWriMo to simply play with words and poem-making. Hopefully by the end of the month, I will have conquered my fear of writing poetry.
For those of you who also struggle to write poetry, here are some of my favorite poetry writing books.
A Kick in the Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms by Paul B. Janeczko, illustrated by Chris Raschka. If you’ve ever wondered about how Haiku and Tanka are different or what in the world a Pantoum is, then this is the book for you. Not only will you learn the different forms of poetry, you will get some brilliant ideas for your own poetry making!
Haiku: Learn To Express Yourself by Writing Poetry in the Japanese Tradition by Patricia Donegan. This book for young readers ages 7-12 is the perfect introduction to the practice of writing Haiku and other Japanese poetry. In addition to learning how to write Haiku, readers are introduced to fun Haiku activities.
Poetry Matters: Writing a Poem from the Inside Out by Ralph Fletcher. Learn what poems are, how they help us to deal with our emotions, how to brainstorm ideas for poems, and how to draft a poem from master children’s writing teacher Ralph Fletcher.
Poetic Medicine: The Healing Art of Poem Making by John Fox. For many of us, writing poetry is simply a way to make sense of life’s challenges. Fox’s book provides the structure and exercises to support writers in finding hope and health through writing poetry.
Poetry as Spiritual Practice: Reading, Writing, and Using Poetry in Your Daily Rituals, Aspirations, and Intentions by Robert McDowell. Reading and writing poetry can become a spiritual discipline. McDowell begins the book by talking about the “shape of practice” and the building blocks for writing poetry. Like A Kick in the Head, McDowell teaches readers about many poetry forms and how to write them.
Your turn: What poetry book have you used to shape your practice?