National Poetry Month: Checking In

Saturday, April 23, 2016
2016 Poetry Poster from
It’s April, which means it’s National Poetry Month!

Earlier this month, Jodi Webb posted about National Poetry Month and the 30 activities you can do to celebrate.

I’ve been participating in Writer’s Digest’s 2016 PAD Challenge to write a poem every day in April. Writer’s Digest writer, Robert Lee Brewer, provides a prompt every day, an example poem he wrote, and space for others to share their poems.

As a self-proclaimed non-poet, this is a challenge for me! I have participated for the past several years, never writing 30 poems in the month, yet it has been so rewarding.

Making the switch from prose to poetry allows me to:

  • Concentrate on every single word choice
  • Focus on word order by noticing the rhythm of word choices
  • Enhance descriptions and emotion by using strong imagery
  • Avoid telling rather than showing

And these benefits are in addition to the multiple benefits Jodi already listed!

Like Jodi, I am not suggesting that you need to become a poet. But for those of you who are not poets, I encourage you to dabble in a bit of poetry now and then because it allows you to take residence in a different part of your brain, to see language differently, to feel stories differently. A new perspective can give your writing the boost it needs.

You don’t need to wait until next April to practice writing poetry: the 2016 PAD Challenge prompts are available year round so you can take the challenge at your own pace at a time that’s convenient for you.

How has National Poetry Month been going for you? What have you learned from reading and/or writing poetry this month?

Written by Anne Greenawalt


Angela Mackintosh said...

Great tips, Anne! I see a lot of writers are sharing their poems in the comments over at the PAD challenge. Interesting to read through them. I will have to try this sometime, at least for a new perspective.

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