What is NaPoWriMo

Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for”

National poetry writing month (Napowrimo) is celebrated every year in the month of April. It’s a feast for all the poetry lovers from all around the world. Even though today Napowrimo has gained worldwide attention and popularity, back in 2003 when it had commenced, it was hardly known by the people.

Napowrimo was introduced by Maureen Thorson, a poet, and publisher of Big game Books. She had announced it as a project on one of her blogs. She invited poets from different spheres to participate in her challenge. Later, in 2009, the American Academy of poets linked Napowrimo to a fundraising activity for their own academy. Over the years, due to the contribution of several poets and readers, this challenge has grown and reached people in nooks and corners.

In otherwise busy lives of people, this little challenge acts as a perfect way of celebration of art, life, and all of all poetry. Poetry has always acted as a resort to burning hearts, grievous situations, catastrophic life events, and people overwhelmed by love. Napowrimo acts as a window in peoples’ otherwise hectic lifestyle, it provides them a chance to ponder, express, and experience beauty of the life, especially when they’re caught within strains of work. Hence, we see a lot of young adults and old adults happily participating in it. Poetry has been a coping mechanism for many. This was reflected in Hindu’s article of the previous year wherein they had elaborated upon how poetry has changed in the times of pandemic. Hindu stated, that for the past two years themes like loneliness, disgust, depression, separation, and dejection have been persistent in peoples’ poems. On one hand, where this situation sounds worrisome, whilst on another hand, one tends to realize that even at the times like dystopia people had resorted to poetry.

NaPoWriMo has gained special attention on Instagram, as various pages on Instagram like “Silver leaf poetry”, “Poems India”, “The Alipore post”, “Terribly tiny tales”, “The remnant archive” provide poetry prompts for the writers. These prompts have ignited the thought process of the writers, extracting the best out of them. Meanwhile, a very popular poetry platform, “Kommuneity” is organizing online poetry slams, providing a platform for artist to display their art. Many renowned poets have also been taking part in NaPoWriMo. One of them is Jidnya Sujata, a 25-year-old poetess. She says, “I started writing when I was in 9th standard. But poetry actually came to me in 2016. And I haven’t gone back. It helped me get out of the toughest time of my life. I first completed the NaPoWriMo challenge in 2017. And I kept doing it every year, including 2022. And I’m not saying all the 30 poems are great, but a handful are good! And that is enough reason to keep writing”. Meanwhile, we also asked Spruha Joshi, a renowned Marathi poetess and actress about her experience with poetry. Like a true poet, she beautifully penned her thoughts in poetry.

कधीतरी काही सुचलेलं,

मनात खूप दिवसांचं साचलेलं

आता शब्दांत मांडण्यावाचून

कोणाला तरी सांगण्यावाचून

पर्याय नाही असं वाटतं,

मग कविता लिहावीशी वाटते.

दूरदूरचे सगळे दिवे

एकाच वेळी मनात लकाकून उठतात,

आणि दूरदूरचे अंधार मनात एकाच वेळी कळ उठवून जातात,

आपण कोण ‘आहोत’ हे कळतं

आणि आपण कोणीच ‘नाही’ आहोत

हे वळतं.

मग कविता लिहाविशी वाटते.

भविष्यकाळाची ओढ लागते.

आणि भूतकाळाची आस राहते,

स्वतःपासून पळून जावंसं वाटत असताना,

नेमकं स्वतःच्या आत खोल खोल उतरत जावं लागतं…

नको नको म्हटलं तरी आभाळ मनात दाटतं.

तिला वगळून आयुष्याचा विचार करत असताना,

तीच अवघं आयुष्य बनून जाते, तेव्हा, मग कविता लिहाविशी वाटते.

– स्पृहा.

Written by- Sanika Ratnaparkhi

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