Friday, 20 January 2023
Happy Poetry Friday! Marcie Flinchum Atkins is hosting the PF round-up this week. Stop by her blog for links to poetry posts from around the kidlitosphere.

I’m counting down the days to February.


So many reasons. The second half of my family’s four-birthdays-in-five-weeks happens in February. My kid and I are going to the U.K. to visit family in February. My VCFA students’ first packets of creative and critical work arrive in February.

And while all that’s going on… I get to write a poem every day with a fantastic community of creatives.

Can you believe I started the February Poem Project all the way back in 2013 (theme: vintage postcards)?! Along the way, it went from a solo pursuit to a vibrant and supportive group of poets.

There are a few spots left in this year’s group, which will be about 35 people total. Want to know more? Read on!

Laura Shovan’s 11th Annual February Daily Poem Project.

For several years — in order to practice writing and repair the world (the Jewish concept of tikkun olam) during my birthday month — my blog hosted a community poetry project. We have written in response to Pantone paint colors, sound clips, found objects, and on such themes as Water and Bodies. We moved to Facebook in 2017 to accommodate the number of poets and writers who wanted to participate.

2023 Theme: Story

Story is an essential part of being human. We are shaped by fairy tales, narrative songs, and cultural histories. Hayao Miyazaki, the legendary animated filmmaker, said, “I believe that stories have an important role to play in the formation of human beings, that they can stimulate, amaze, and inspire their listeners.” Memory is a form of story that lives in our minds until we shape it and share it with others.

Stories are present in the books we have read, the films we have watched, the walks we have taken. Some are “just the facts.” Others play fast and loose with details in order to reveal a deeper truth. Jokes and poems rely on rhythm to tell a story. But the tools of storytelling reach beyond language. Sound, visual images, smells, tastes, touch, and our understanding of time—each these elements can enrich a story.

Join me beside the campfire, where we will spend a month telling, questioning, and rethinking the power of story.

You’ll also find a history of the project and complete instructions on my blog:

28 responses to “2023 February Poetry Project”

  1. Hi Laura, I’d love to be a part of the February 2023 poetry writing project again this year, I left a comment over on the FB group page. Story sounds wonderful for the theme! Such a lovely cake, thanks for all!

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Hi, Michelle! You should have an invitation. Let me know if you have trouble getting in. (The cake isn’t one of my creations, but one I found online!)

  2. Looking forward to February with you, and the challenge of writing story–which is not how I usually roll. Ready to stretch myself!

  3. I’ve never done this, but would like to sign up for the poetry project. I’ll be traveling some in Feb, but maybe that isn’t an obstacle. I love thinking about story and often my poems contain a narrative. Thanks, Laura.

  4. I am looking forward to the month of writing in community. thank you for your generosity in hosting this amazing group to celebrate your birthday. And it does indeed work to heal the world.

  5. Linda Baie says:

    Each year has brought us all special ideas from others & as we write, Laura. Your birthday celebrations are something I’ve looked forward to every January! Thanks for keeping it going! Happy travels to UK, too!

  6. Mary Lee says:

    I’m gearing up to strengthen my daily writing muscles!

  7. Molly Hogan says:

    This challenge is a highlight of my winter and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to participate! Thank you!!! I can’t wait to see where the arc of the coming month’s story takes us!

  8. Your February sounds positively otherworldly. Enjoy it all! (And have some pie.) 🙂

  9. What a wonderful month of story! Wish I could participate. I know that I’ll be knee-deep in revisions in February, but I’ll be cheering you all on!

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Thanks, Marcie! There are several Poetry Friday people in the group. I’m sure they’ll be posting about it!

  10. Hi Laura, If there are any openings left, I’d love to participate in the Feb Poetry Project this year. I hunted down the 2018 blog post (the link above didn’t work?) and am inspired to work with a daily prompt. If I missed the window, no worries! Thanks.

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Hi, Patricia. I’m sorry, but the project is full up for this year. I sent you a FB friend request. Look for a post about the project early next January if you’d like to sign up.

  11. I really enjoyed the year I did the Water theme. Thanks for offering this to the community, Laura!

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Hi, Laura. I’m partnering with Authors Take Action to do something like that in 2023 — for National Poetry Month. Look for info soon. I’d love for you to participate.

  12. Laura, I was wondering if I missed a notice about the February project. I will join in again and hope I can keep up with everyone. Story is a wonderful theme. Happy Birthday and a month filled with wonderful events and happiness.

  13. […] month I’m participating in Laura’s 11th February Poetry Project on Facebook, for the first time. So glad there was a spot left. I was a little nervous anticipating […]

  14. […] Laura Shovan’s February Poetry Project is over and I almost managed to write a poem everyday except, I think, two. Still I am very proud I managed to write while and visit relatives most of February. So Yay! And it was wonderful reading so many different responses to daily prompts. […]

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Laura Shovan

Laura Shovan is the author of the award-winning middle grade novel, The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary. Her second book, Takedown, is a Junior Library Guild and PJ Our Way selection. Look for A Place at the Table, co-written with Saadia Faruqi, in 2020. Laura is a poet-in-the-schools Maryland.

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