The first National Haiku Writing Month began on February 1, 2011. On the NaHaiWriMo page on Facebook on that very first day, someone (I wish I could remember who) asked if it might be possible to have a daily writing prompt. I thought that was an excellent idea, so I provided a writing prompt each day of that first month—the very first prompt was “hands.” As the month drew to a close, the Facebook page’s hundreds of participants from around the world wanted the prompts to continue in subsequent months, and so the daily haiku prompts have continued, turning NaHaiWriMo into more of a IntHaiWriYear, or International Haiku Writing Year—or at least InHaiWriMo, or International Haiku Writing Month.). The enthusiasm and community has been wonderful (read comments about NaHaiWriMo). The following is a list of each of the prompters who have volunteered their time to inspire haiku on the site (most recent prompter listed first), linking to all of his or her prompts for the month. Prompts for the current month are added after the end of that month. You can also visit the NaHaiWriMo page on Facebook and click the monthly post pinned to the top of the page to read current prompts there. Starting in January 2014, all prompt words followed the alphabet (all January words starting with the letter A, February with B, and so on), a progression that ended with the letter Z, and the word “zyzzyva,” at the end of February 2016. Thanks to each of the following prompters for their haiku creativity, enthusiasm, and inspiration! You can read more about each volunteer prompter (starting with 2014 prompters) at Meet the Prompters.
“For anyone who is new to NaHaiWriMo, the idea is to write a haiku a day, using the prompts to help, and then to share your poem on the NaHaiWriMo Facebook page, if you want to. Interpret the prompts in any way you like and go off-prompt if a prompt comes up that you really don’t respond to. But even if a prompt doesn’t immediately inspire you, have a go anyway. I’ve sometimes found that a ‘hard’ prompt can give me a useful nudge out of my usual haiku habits. It’s delightful if you write something that you wouldn’t have written otherwise.”
“Poetry is a battle against the prompter, which can only give us someone else’s lines to say. The poet has to speak his own lines, be in his own play.”