National Poetry Month, Poetry Discussion, and New Writing Prompts

Are you a poetry reader or writer? April is National Poetry Month, and there are plenty of challenges for writers out there, but I haven’t seen many for readers. So, we decided to to have one ourselves! Every week this month, I’ll be reading a poem and mentioning it here on the weekly blog post. If you comment with the title and author of a poem you’ve read recently and a book you’d like to read from our catalog, we’ll send you a free PDF – your choice of books from any category on our site except Humor/Satire.

Just make sure to include your correct email address in the comment form (email addresses will not display with your comment), so we can send your free book!

For this first week, the poem I read is The Poet’s Vow by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. It’s a rather poignant, sad tale of a poet who renounces his humanity and the world in order to lock himself away as a hermit, basically. His lady love does not fare well upon his vow, and things progress about as you might expect as the poem goes on. As I was reading, the skies were darkening and a spring storm looming, which matched the mood of the poem rather nicely.

The volume of Mrs. Browning’s poems I have is very old – the copyright reads 1882 and 1886. I found it one afternoon at a local flea market, and as a collector of old books, I had to have it for the $20 they were asking. It’s beautiful and red-speckled, with soft, yellowed pages that immediately implore you to handle it with care. I think with poetry especially, reading from an old, hardbound copy helps the mind really accept and even embrace the older language and phrasing used in these poems.

I have an old volume of Tennyson as well – perhaps I’ll get that one off the shelf for next week.

In other news, the new monthly writing prompts are available below. Let’s write about roses!

Until next time, happy reading & writing….

Monthly Writing Prompts:

  • Prose Prompt: A man running to catch a train/bus/cab drops a red rose. A woman picks it up, and finds a note wrapped around the stem.
  • Poetry Prompt: Using different color rose petals, write a poem in which the narrator picks a petal each stanza (sort of a “loves me, loves me not” rhythm/theme).

Stories and poems for each month should be submitted by the last day of that month to The following month, one poem and one story from the previous month will be chosen for publication here on the blog, and also in our monthly newsletter. Authors will receive a flat fee of $10 per poem or story we choose to publish. Items submitted must be original, unpublished works, however we only ask for non-exclusive rights to post the work here on our blog for one year, and in one monthly newsletter.

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