Mental Podcast Show

TW: Mentions of blood, injury, dermatillomania, and drug use.

April has come and gone and the poetry challenges – ESCAPRIL and NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) – are over. I am such a fan of these challenges and I keep meaning to seek out more of them; I love writing poetry but it tends to be the creative outlet that always slips down my list of priorities, just because there’s always so much to do. So a challenge or series of prompts is a great impetus to get writing again. I didn’t manage to write everyday, especially at the beginning of the month when I was still in Nashville and then releasing my new single, ‘House on Fire,’ but when I got into it, I couldn’t stop writing.

On the whole, I wrote more for ESCAPRIL than I did for Na PoWriMo. I think I was just more inspired by this year’s prompts from the former. Plus I think it’s fair to say that more of the NaPoWriMo prompts experiment with form and structure whereas ESCAPRIL focusses on content, the part of poetry writing that I find more exciting and fulfilling.

ESCAPRIL encourages participants to post their work on social media throughout the month but I’ve never engaged in that part of the challenge; doing the challenge is for me and my writing, although I do enjoy sharing some of my favourites at the end of the month. I mean, that’s why I do this blog post. But I can’t imagine posting a piece right after writing it, when it’s still soo fresh and raw; that sounds more than a little bit terrifying. Anyway…

Here are the prompts for 2023:

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Here are a few of my favourites from the month. A lot of them weren’t comfortable to write – and now to read – but they feel raw and real and that’s what’s most important to me in poetry, especially my own…

ESCAPRIL

NaPoWriMo

(Inspired, obviously, by the short film, The Nettle Dress.)

So there you have it, a handful of the poems I wrote throughout April, inspired by these two challenges. I feel like a lot of dark stuff comes out in my poetry, as well as stuff that I went through when I was younger, I think because I didn’t necessarily have the the emotional maturity to recognise what I was feeling or the language to describe those feelings. Some of them come from my present day brain though, working through stuff by writing about it. That is, after all, what writing poetry is for me, in whatever form that may take.

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