So It Begins: National Poetry Month

So, Katiekins, what are you up to for NaPoWriMo?

Well I'm glad that you've asked.

1. I'm excited to announce that this year, I've been invited to be a featured poet for the Valley International Poetry Month! This is particularly special for me. I've been involved with VIPF since 2009, and it's been this constant in my development as a poet.

For those of y'all who don't know what VIPF is, here's the website

It's essentially THE local poetry event of the year where members of our community and beyond get together for four crazy days of poetry readings over the entire Rio Grande Valley (including Mexico!). We put out an anthology, offer workshops, read our work all over the community, and it all ends in this enormous pachanga where 50 + poets take the stage and do their thang.

So yay. There's that. As a featured poet, I'll be giving a workshop, signing books, and of course, sharing my work. I'm nervous (as always) and excited, too.

2. I'm doing NaPoWriMo! as in, writing everyday.
Yes, this month is insane and yes, I know I always say this, but I NEED to figure out how to incorporate writing into my daily schedule. So during this month, I'm pushing myself, holding myself accountable, for writing a poem a day. These won't be great poems. In fact, most of them will probably suck terribly. BUT, but, I'm not looking for greatness; I'm looking for consistancy, teaching myself that yes, writing matters and yes, poetry happens everyday and yes, I can do this.

So amidst my vagina monologue rehearsals (did I tell you, I'm doing that too) and admist my insane teaching schedule, between grading papers and preparing lectures for work, between getting ready for the poetry festival and developing a workshop that won't put people to sleep, between scooping up cat poop and washing dishes, I, Katie Hoerth, will write one poem a day for thirty crazy insane days.

Hey, if I can write a crappy novel in a month, I can certainly write thirty crappy poems.

And again, it's about developing a habit, learning how to carve out time for the things that matter. And for a writer, well, writing matters.

Here's NaPoWriMo #1

Jelly Shoes

When I was eight I wanted jelly shoes –
The kind that sparkled in the sun like slippers
Made from glass, so I could slip them on
My feet like Cinderella with the prince.
At Payless with my mom one Saturday,
I snatched the first pair I saw, raised
Them up towards her face. These! I grinned.
She scoffed. You have to try a bunch on first,

she laughed, pointing at the blisters on her feet,
or else you'll end up just like me.

And sure enough, they weren't a perfect fit.

We bought a pair of sandals that lit up
with every step. Once in the van, she lit a cigarette
It’s the same with men, she said, and sucked
The amber butt and let a cloud emerge
from her chapped lips. I didn’t understand,
but now I do, with blisters of my own
from buying shoes that didn’t fit just right. 
I wonder if Cinderella's perfect feet have blisters now, too.