Write On! Review – Haiku On!
By Cara Holman

haiku moment…
ink drying
on the page

It’s April again—the time of year when days are growing longer, robins and Canada geese wend their way back, crocuses and daffodils spring up everywhere, and poets from around the world gather in droves on cyberspace to celebrate National Poetry Month by taking part in poem-a-day (PAD) challenges.

This year, I’m participating in two PAD challenges: NaHaiWriMo, and the Poetic Asides PAD challenge. I’ve participated in both of them before, and enjoyed them so much that I just couldn’t decide between them… so I’m doing them both! Now it’s always good to pause and take stock of a situation, and now that it is just over two-thirds of the way through these challenges, this seems like the perfect time to do so.

The NaHaiWriMo challenge is going well! Originally created as a Facebook oriented haiku PAD challenge by Michael Dylan Welch for the month of February, it has been so successful that it spilled into March with prompts provided by Alan Summers, and April with prompts provided by Melissa Allen, and there is no end in sight. I must say personally, that I got a little burned out after February, and took the month of March off, so I could return in April with recharged batteries. There is no sign up—anyone can participate simply by posting a haiku, based on the daily prompt or not, to the NaHaiWriMo wall on Facebook.

If that was all there is to it though, it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun as it is. The fun comes in when people click “Like” on their favorites and leave comments. This is a no-fail way to test your haiku abilities, enjoy lots of other wonderful haiku, and make new haijin friends in the process. I will say that some days the muse is not quite with me, but I have managed 17+ haiku (some days I write and post two or three), and have no doubt I can make it to the finish line.

I’ve been having a bit more difficulty this time around with the Writer’s Digest sponsored Poetic Asides blog, led by Robert Lee Brewer. To put it bluntly, I got behind early on, and haven’t yet caught up. But that’s okay. Because I’ve decided to move forward, and if there are a dozen or so prompts that I missed in the middle, I’ll either get back to them, or I won’t. Which illustrates yet another positive feature of PAD challenges: if you don’t manage a poem a day, it’s okay, no one is judging you.

If you like poetry, even just to read it, check out some of these April PAD challenges:

NaHaiWriMo
Poetic Asides

Big Tent Poetry

Not Without Poetry

Inkseeds

Are you participating in a poem-a-day challenge? Which one(s)? How are you doing? Please post in the comments!

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Cara Holman writes haiku, other short form poetry, and personal essays. Her poetry has, or will appear online in The Heron’s Nest, Notes from the Gean, Sketchbook, haikuworld, World Haiku Review, and Four and Twenty, and in print in Riverwind 30 and Frogpond. Links to all her publications can be found on her blog Prose Posies.

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