Linda Kulp Trout

Friday, April 1, 2016

My First National Poetry Month Project and a Bit of News!

I love following the National Poetry Month projects. For the past several years, I’ve wanted to do one of my own but worried that it would require a huge time commitment. I don't like to commit to something and then not be able to follow through. I knew I could only do it if I could figure out something that would be quick and easy. I finally came up with an idea.

In February, the lovely and talented Renee LaTulippe organized a daily writing challenge for LLL alumni. I was fortunate to be partnered with poet Cynthia Grady. We both have busy schedules so Cynthia and I agreed to write for 15 minutes, and exchange a daily observation "snippet". Fifteen minutes, I could do that. Being gentle with one another gave us the freedom to explore whatever piqued our interest each day. Knowing Cynthia was waiting for my daily email kept me motivated. Neither of us missed a single day!

During March, I tried to continue, but without accountability, other activities began to squeeze out my writing time.  Over the past thirty years, I’ve started dozens of writing projects only to file them away doubting my ability to create anything someone would want to read. In a recent interview, Oprah, talking about how we often put off working toward our goals said, “Ask yourself, if not now, when?”  Those words have stuck with me. I don’t want to look back someday and wish I’d given myself the push I needed to accomplish my writing goals.

So,  this year I'm doing my first National Poetry Month project. In keeping with my One Little Word- Simplify, I decided on a project that is easy and quick but will help me move forward on my WIP.

Each day, beginning tomorrow, I'll post a five-minute reflection about  my progress, and the lessons I learn as I begin to shape those February snippets into a collection of poems. I’m a little nervous because daily blogging is way out of my comfort zone, but the Poetry Friday community has always been very supportive, and I've made some wonderful friends online. All of you make it easier for me to stretch and grow as a writer. 
I don’t know if anything I share will interest anyone besides me, but I hope you’ll come along with me on this journey and let me know what you think.  Your words are important to me.

A bit of news-

I just registered for my first Highlights Foundation workshop The Craft and Heart of Writing Poetry for Children led by two of my favorite master poets:  Rebecca Kai Dotlich and Georgia Heard.  With special guest editor extraordinaire Rebecca Davis and a Skype visit from the great Lee Bennett Hopkins, it's a poet's dream team!  I am super excited!

For years, I've wanted to attend a Highlights poetry workshop, but there were always obstacles: transportation, cost, and time.  Last week, as soon as I saw the announcement, I took a leap of faith and registered. The workshop isn't until September so I have time to figure it out.  "If not now, when?"

Amy kicks off National Poetry Month with the Poetry Friday roundup at the Poem Farm.
See you there!


  1. Sounds like you are moving boldly AND simply! Good for you :-)

  2. Yippee!! for the Highlights workshop. I saw it and drooled, but not this year. You've chosen a wonderful, simple project for the month. Enjoy this journey!

  3. Linda, this is wonderful! I'm sure you'll enjoy the poetry class... I must admit I'm a tad jealous. But isn't it great to break out of old patterns and excuses?

  4. I'm so jealous! Going to a Highlights workshop is on my bucket list!!

  5. I've always wanted to go to Highlights, too. No time for the wicked. Maybe one day, when my youngest is more independent. I like your idea of using your project to aid your goals. I hope it all works out!!

  6. This is a great Poetry Month project, and one that will be interesting to me and helpful to you. Reading the process notes of others is fascinating always, and I wish you the best on the journey. About the class, you will love it! I took one there in 2001 with Rebecca Kai Dotlich and Bernice Cullinan taught a was marvelous. The perfect gift to you. Happy National Poetry Month! xo

  7. Thank you, everyone for your support and kind words. It helps to have friends cheering me on. : )

  8. Good luck with your Poetry Month project! After doing Two Writing Teachers' Slice of Life Challenge in March, I couldn't imagine another month of daily blogging. I'll be at the Highlights workshop in September, too. As you said, this is a dream team of poets, and I can't wait to learn from them. Looking forward to meeting you then!

  9. Good for you to start a meaningful project that suits you. I am now starting to take a look backward on everyone's journey this month. Please join me to create one digital inspiration (poem/photo or artwork) for my newest gallery, #SpringsSeeds.