April Poet Showcase

For three years now, I have participated in at least one daily poetry writing challenge in April, in honor of National Poetry Month. It was a great way to kick start my writing, and make new friends in the process. As this April approached however, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with the idea of taking on yet another daily writing challenge. In the first place, I have been doing this for three consecutive months now, and am ready for a break! And in addition, now that I am regularly writing and submitting haiku, tanka, haibun, and rengay to journals, I feel like trying to write to daily prompts can sometimes become a distraction. So I sat back and gave some thought to what I could do this April. And the answer came to me at once.

I have met so many creative poets over the last few years. Why not showcase them, and in the process, learn a bit more about my poetry friends, many of whom I have not yet met in person. So I sent out a short list of questions, one of which is how they met me. I have been involved in many online poetry writing communities, including the Four and Twenty journal– the first place my poetry was published– Poetic Asides, Read Write Poem, Big Tent Poetry, Shiki Kukai, Sketchbook Kukai, Caribbean Kigo Kukai, NaHaiWriMoand most recently, I Doodle, You ‘KuAgain and again I see many of the same names popping up in various poetry publications and communities, and new ones being added all the time. So this April, I will be showcasing many of my poetry friends in guest blog posts, and hope you will follow along.

Just to whet your appetite, here is the line up, for the first two weeks, in order of appearance. (And if you haven’t sent in your answer to my questions yet, please do!)

Week 1: Kirsten Cliff, Cassie Premo Steele, Laurie Kolp, Terri L. French, Margaret Chula, Michael Dylan Welch, and Curtis Dunlap

Week 2: Aubrie Cox, Margaret Dornaus, Alegria Imperial, Gillena Cox, Angie Werren, Christina Nguyen, and Johannes S.H. Bjerg

So with no further ado…

doodleku, revisited

Another daily poetry writing challenge completed! I would be remiss if I didn’t at least attempt some kind of concluding remarks. So here goes.

I came into the “I Doodle, You ‘Ku” daily writing challenge fresh off of two consecutive months of daily writing. In January I participated in A River of Stones, and in February I did all 29 days of NaHaWriMo,  including reading (and often commenting on) almost all the offerings of others. I was a bit burned out on writing, and thought I would just peek in at Aubrie Cox’s doodleku challenge and read what others wrote. I might even attempt writing one or two of my own, but certainly no more than that. I needed a break.

What can I say? After the first two or three, I became hopeless hooked. And I think this is why. I am a very visual person, and there was something about the “doodles” (all of which are better than anything I can even imagine drawing!) that evoked very strong memories and images for me. I found myself writing about things that I don’t even consciously think about any more. So how could I pass up the opportunity to dig deeper into my writing? I couldn’t. I wrote at least one haiku a day, and I think there was even one or two tanka, and a haibun-like writing in there.

And if that wasn’t  incentive enough to write, the other real perk of the challenge was that were generally no more than twenty to twenty-five responses per post, so I could actually read them all daily, and fully get to appreciate other’s takes on the same prompts. Will this become a yearly challenge? I certainly hope so!