It's just about that time again. For people who've followed this blog (hi!) or drop in occasionally after Twitter or Facebook prompting (hi again!) National Poetry Writing Month (or "NaPoWriMo") begins this Monday, 1 April (no foolin'!). The idea is that you write a poem every day of April, in an effort to get people writing. I've done it for three consecutive years, picking a theme each year. In 2010 it was baseball teams, 2011 was chemical elements, 2012 was solar system objects (but not planets). There's a lot to cover in the solar system, of course, and I plan to make 2013 another solar system year, including the planets this time. I am once again going to try and keep to the ethic I've had for several years of not spending more than 15-20 minutes per poem (I've grinded them out before breakfast several days) and starting exactly one poem a day (I do allow myself to think about ideas ahead of time, though). I know some other folks will be joining me in NaPoWriMo with space themed poetry, most notably Christine Reuter (aka tychogirl) and Amee Hennig (aka astropoetamee), maybe you can too!
It's been a great year for planetary science poems. Not only have planetary scientists like Jennifer Grier and Michele Bannister had their work professionally published, but the tradition of haiku summaries of LPSC talks has received renewed attention, and apparently has spread to archaeologists!
So, I'm going to make an offer to you. Yes, you too. NaPoWriMo is about getting people to write without worrying about having it be perfect, which pre-empts the whole process. I encourage all of you to write something! In previous years I've come up with free verse, sestinas, sonnets, haiku, and a whole heck of a lot of doggerel. It doesn't need to be a poem every day, it doesn't need to be The Rime of the Ancient Mariner or Leaves of Grass. It doesn't have to be anything you share with others, it doesn't have to be about planets or space or science at all. But if you want to try your hand and are willing to share but don't have a venue to post what you want, I'm happy to do so here. I'll post it under your name or anonymously as you wish, with any accompanying text you like. If you can find this blog, you can probably find my contact information either in my profile here, or on Twitter (@ asrivkin) or elsewhere.
Get writing! :)