• Celia Jenkins

NaPoWriMo2020, Poetry Challenge

Updated: Apr 1

I did National Poetry Writing Month (#NaPoWriMo) in 2017 and 2018, but last year we were in the manic midsts of buying a house and I was focussing on my novel plotting, so I didn't do it. This year, like most people, I'm stuck at home. As a freelance writer, this isn't too different to normal as I spend most of my working week at home anyway. The difference is that now I don't have any out-of-the-house work at all, and my husband is at home instead of being out all day. Other than that, it's pretty much business as usual.


Anyway. Poetry. So what with Covid-19 and social distancing and #StayingAtHome, I think it's a prime opportunity for some writing. I haven't done much so far. With everything that's going on, it's hard to concentrate. People who say 'Well writers have loads of time on their hands now, so no excuse not to write' can take a walk - writing isn't a job you can 'just do', you have to be in the right place. So my writing work (actual, paid, freelance work) is slow going (because it's hard to concentrate) and my novel editing has reached a standstill (because I don't feel motivated) so I think I need a challenge to get going again.


NaPoWriMo works like this - throughout April, you write one poem every day. You can keep them to yourself or publish them on your blog (remembering that anything on your blog counts as 'published' and can't be submitted to many magazines/comps afterwards). You can sign up on the NaPoWriMo website to make it easy for others to find your blog and enjoy your work.



(Picture: A place where I sat and ate cake and drank tea and wrote many, many haiku in 2017)


So that's what I'm doing. Except I need another challenge. 2017 and 2018 I just did haiku, because in 2017 I was living in Japan and loving haiku (mostly in English, some bilingual) and also because they're short. But needing some focus, here's my 2020 #PoetryChallenge


I will write a DIFFERENT type of poem every day throughout April.


One haiku. One pantoum. One acrostic. One of whatever else I can think of. I want to try poetry forms I haven't heard of before, or haven't tried. I want obscure, foreign forms that I've never discovered. Do you know an unusual type of poetry I can try? Please leave a comment with your suggestions.


Here's my list so far of poems I want to try (as of 01/04/2020)


- Pantoum

- Ekphrastic

- Cinquain

- Ghazal

- Senryu

- Found

- Fatras

- Ae Freislighe

- Villanelle

- Virelai

- Epistolary

- Triversen

- Tanka

- Telestich

- Stranbotto

- Trimeric

- Triolet


After trawling through some old copies of Writing Magazine and the 'Poetry from A to Z' features, I've found quite a few to try out, but I still need more! Suggestions please, and let me know if you're following my progress. If I manage to write a really good poem, I won't post it. So if all my poems are rubbish, that's why :)

© 2017 by Celia Jenkins