Posted by: jeannineatkins | November 2, 2009

Thirty Poems in Thirty Days

Slow writers can be friends with fast writers, yes? I’m rooting for friends who are trying to write a novel in a month. Cheering and amazed, even when the goal is for a very rough draft, or getting in the habit of sprinting past internal censors. And in my area, Leslea Newman, who is currently the very active and imaginative poet laureate of Northampton, MA, was inspired by NaNoWriMo to start a 30 poems in 30 days project.
You can read about it here:

Leslea has done wonderful things for our community, such as getting poems in the local newspaper and poetry books into doctor’s offices. Now money raised by this project – she suggests anything from a nickel to a dollar a poem –will benefit the Center for New Americans, which supports literacy and education for people new to our part of Massachusetts. From what I’ve read, many who’ve learned language and computer skills here go on to help others, making this agency both cost-efficient and friendly to those who might arrive with trepidation.

I know myself. I’d be beating myself on the head trying to write a poem a day, and would be left in the dust, tinkering, though Leslea says they just have to be poems, not good poems. But I’m going for the bystander role, sponsoring Dina Friedman d_dina_friedman who’s in my writing group. Dina writes:. “I’m seeing it as a goal to be disciplined and use the form to pay closer attention to language. I find that focusing on poetry from time to time really helps my fiction writing.” Other participants include published poets such as Leslea, Jane Yolen, Corinne Demas, Katha Pollitt, and Amy Dryansky, while others may be writing some of their first poems, or first poems in years. And all sorts of poets in between, with everyone welcome. It’s about having fun for a great cause.

Have you written a poem today? Go! if you can. And cheer on our friends if you can’t.



  1. No poems, I’m afraid. Indeed I am striving for a mere paragraph a day this week — anything to keep my hand in. But I admire the ambition of all these November sprinters!

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