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  • Celia Jenkins

NaPoWriMo 2017

I took part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in 2015 - if you are unfamiliar with NaNo, the basic concept is that you write a 50,000 novel in one month. NaPoWriMo is the same deal, but with poetry - write a poem every day for 30 days, during the month of April.

Owned by Washington, DC poet Maureen Thorson, the NaPoWriMo website showcases the work of people taking part in NaPoWriMo. There is no cash prize or anything like that - just a collection of poems from people taking part. In order to be listed on the page, all you need is have your own website (or Twitter account, Facebook page) on which to post your poems. NaPoWriMo posts daily prompts if you don't know what to write about, but you don't need to use them if you don't want to.

So, for NaPoWriMo 2017, I will be trying to write at least one haiku every day, and posting them to my blog with the tag #NaPoWriMo2017haiku575. Unlike most modern haiku writers, I write my haiku in the traditional 5-7-5 format (3 lines, 17 syllables). Traditionally, Japanese haiku have always been written in this format, but most haiku in English are not, although they do often focus on nature or the seasons as a main topic, or feature a juxtaposition of two subjects. I have been putting together a portfolio of haiku for a little while now which I hope to publish in the next few years, so my NaPoWriMo haiku will also be going towards that.

NaPoWriMo runs in April, which is when I'll be largely mucking around in fields doing some volunteer farming through workaway - an 'alternative holiday' to end my last few weeks in Japan. So I'm predicting plenty of kigo (seasonal references) and luckily for me this is sakura (cherry blossom) season - an inspiring time to be writing in the home of the haiku. If you are interested in reading my daily poems, please follow my blog. Thanks!

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