A Place of Our Own

Blog-o-sphere place where Leelanau Poets gather their work

While others are hurrying to and from daily tasks with their gaze downward, full speed ahead, poets move through the world a bit differently.

We poets are quietly watching the hum of the world around us with our paper nets at the ready to catch the gossamer inspirations floating on the air. We curate words and ideas for our collection.

We observe the subtle movement of life around us. We make notes. If a device isn’t handy to tap out a note, any scrap of writing surface suffices. A cafe napkin, the back of an envelope, our palm- anyplace that ink will mark the moment so we can take it home and get to work.

Back in our writing place we reach for fresh paper or a laptop and then shop through our notes and overflowing minds for perfect words. Like sorting fruit at a farmers market, we hold words in our hands and weigh their value, keeping some and discarding others. And when we’ve found the very best to work with we begin.

In the 2020 isolation, we needed to celebrate our art in a safer way; one that would last long after a gallery show had been torn down. A few of us at that are members of the Northport Arts Association created a video presentation, The Night Sky Poetry Project, that ran in conjunction with an NAA art show, a photography workshop and a lecture featuring all things stars and celestial. It honored the Dark Sky Parks being opened around the globe by showing in words and art how that vast sky above us inspires creative endeavour.

Last summer we reached out to local poets and NAA member poets asking them to write new night sky inspired poetry or to share with us some of their older pieces. Artist and Poet member, Lydia Woodruff, joined me to combine those poems with more work of famous and contemporary poets. Lydia led the way with her video editing and images created by our artists members combined with public domain images from NASA and the Hubble Telescope. We brought in local acting talent and poets who recorded readings of these poems in my home. The final video presentation debuted during the Dark Sky Week 2020. You can see our video here…

the Night Sky poetry video…

We can create more projects like these year round!

There really isn’t a place for us to get together and talk about our poetry, or a place to share it if we don’t already have a blog with followers or an active publishing career. This blog, this website, is where we hope to keep the flow of our words going.

This LeelanauPoets.Org website will be a place of showcasing, learning, celebrating and collaborating. Though I am starting this space and populating the start up pages, I am hoping to fill this site with our poetry, guest blogger posts, writing word prompt challenges, poetry contest information and news.

I’m going to be reaching out to poets I know who will offer workshops in person as soon as it’s safe or virtually, where they will be accessible to anyone, anywhere.

By May, I’d like to see our poet members using either their own images to illustrate their poems, or, with permission, the images of other local artists whose paintings or photography we can pair for collaborative efforts across the membership.

Watch for announcements and check on upcoming wonderfulness that you may want to get in on.

Welcome to our treehouse. Let’s play!

Our First Project! April 01, 2021

That’s right. April is National Poetry Month. For many years poets like us have been writing like fiends during the month of April.

Thousands of poets all over the world rise up to the National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) challenge: 30 Poems In 30 Days.

This madness was inspired by the older NaNoWriMo, November’s National Novel Writing Month challenge of 50,000 Words in 30 Days. This writing challenge has grown to 552,335 writers from around the globe, drinking gallons of coffee and risking their relationships with family trying to live a life while they write each year. Sound crazy? It is. It’s also so exhilarating and fun that I have personally done it twice resulting in two nearly ready full length fiction novels. The NaNoWriMo challenge was the garden where some best selling novels emerged like Water for Elephants and The Night Circus.

It’s cousin, NaPoWriMo, also lures the poets to their abandoned notebooks and asks us to rise each day for a month and find a small slice of time to craft a poem. It can be anything from a striking Haiku to a full blown Ode if you’re inspired. Any topic, any style. But you must write each day. I preferred early morning writing one hour each day. You may be a night owl. Who sees these poems as we post them each day? That would be THOUSANDS of readers all over the world.

Last April, as I was posting my daily poems on my blog site that was linked to the NaPoWriMo2020 main site, a poetry publisher in the U.K. started reading my work each day. At the end of the challenge, they invited me to be a part of their NaPoWriMo 2020 Anthology. I was honored to be one of 39 poets from around the world included in their book, which is available through Amazon here: https://abpoetryjournal.com/napowrimo-anthology-2020/

This blog can be the place where you submit your poems if you decide to join our team of NaPoWriMo 2021 writing team. You’ll submit your poem to our email address each day and I will post all of our entries nightly. Sign up on the contact page here on the LeelanauPoets.org website, or add our email address to your contact list: poetry@LeelanauPoets.org

The prize? The satisfaction of achievement and the sharpening of your writing skills earned by carefully crafting entries each day.

LOOKING INTO THE FUTURE

So, maybe THIS is the real prize. What we can do with these poems…

Each of us will be creating 30 new poems. By May, we will have a large collection of NaPoWriMo 2021 Poetry. If we can sort and select several pieces from each collection, we would have enough to publish a book that can be sold through Amazon, local bookstores and, if we vote to donate some of our proceeds, we can make them available at local arts associations like the NAA. Combined with the visual imagery from our own art or that of other local artists, these books of words gathered every April can bring increased visibility and some money to our poets, and a donation brings needed funding to 501c3 Non-Profit associations and will create a lasting record of our work.

This book can be sold in print-on-demand, eBook format and hard copy format. Our collective will be deciding how those funds are distributed and what portion of our proceeds we want to donate to non-profits.

How to join the fray-

Email: poetry@LeelanauPoets.org and let me know that you will be joining the Leelanau Poets NaPoWriMo 2021 Team. I’d like to have a short bio from you, a link to your website if you have one, a photo of you (and don’t worry about it being perfect. I’ll be using it to create a cartoon style image so we are all portrayed in our alter-super-writing-hero style.) And, if you are also a photographer or artist, give me a picture or two of a few of your works so I can add it to your team bio. Let me know if you’ve been published before and if any of your work is available for sale at booksellers or online.

I’ll need your sign up before March 20th so we can launch this site with a bang and have followers that can access our daily writing to enjoy from day one of the challenge.

In the meantime, I would like to have at least one or two poems from each poet that can be shared here along with your bios so visitors to LeelanauPoets.org will have a feel for who you are and how you write.

It’s going to be fun!

and after NaPoWriMo, I’ll be whipping you into a frenzy to create more Poetry Video Presentations, like submitting our poems for the NAA’s August’s Starry Night Poetry Project 2021, that will combine our words, visual arts and music in collaboration with local acting talent who are willing to read our work, unless you’re the whole enchilada type that wants to read their own work! In that case, we’ll get you recorded.

Until then, join us as a part of the LeelanauPoets.org contributing poets!

COMPETITION!

Here are two 2021 NaPoWriMo Writing Teams and what they’re doing to rise to the 2021 Challenge…

https://www.napowrimo.net/

https://www.womenwritingbloomington.org/product/napowrimo-kick-off-2021/

Come on Leelanau Poets! We can do this!

You can read my last two years of entries by searching NaPoWriMo on my personal blog site: www.wordninjagirl.com