To get in the mood, check out the performance poetry by Sarah Kay below, as well as the rest of the performance poetry playlist.
I often get so busy that it is half way through the month (or sometimes half way through May or June) when I realize National Poetry Month has come and gone and I had done nothing to participate.
Although I am a poetry appreciator, and I have about a half-dozen journals full of poetry written in adolescence, I don’t know if I'd consider myself a poet. I fell out of touch with this art form when I steered towards prose and academic writing.
Last April, however, I discovered the Poem-a-Day (PAD) Challenge on the Writer’s Digest website and tried it. I did not quite write 30 poems in 30 days (I may have written 11...), but the experienced tapped into my inner poet and helped me to find ways to write more expressively in my creative fiction and academic writing.
All people – writers/non-writers, poetry enthusiasts/poetry neutralists – can benefit from taking a moment to read, write, and/or think about poetry, whether it is in April...or at a later date.
What Is National Poetry Month?
According to the Academy of American Poets,
“National Poetry Month is a month-long, national celebration of poetry established by the Academy of American Poets. The concept is to widen the attention of individuals and the media—to the art of poetry, to living poets, to our complex poetic heritage, and to poetry books and journals of wide aesthetic range and concern. We hope to increase the visibility and availability of poetry in popular culture while acknowledging and celebrating poetry’s ability to sustain itself in the many places where it is practiced and appreciated.”Poets.org answers this question and many more on its National Poetry Month FAQ page.
How Can You Participate?
The American Academy of Poets has created a list of 30 ways to celebrate poetry, including:
- Read a book of poetry
- Put poetry in unexpected places
- Put a poem on the pavement
- Write a letter to a poet
And the Poetry Foundation is offering back copies of Poetry Magazine in April, which are free for individuals, classrooms, and reading groups.
A quick Google search may also announce other opportunities in your hometown.
How do you plan to celebrate?
Written by: Anne Greenawalt, writer and writing instructor