Monday, April 01, 2013

Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month

Happy NPM!

April, my favorite time of the year (next to summer, of course). Pollen and verse fill the air! So, what are you doing to celebrate National Poetry Month?

I am writing a poem a day--with poem #1 almost done. 

If you are looking for some way to show your enthusiasm for poetry, let me suggest the following ideas:

1. Host a Common Threads reading: 10 poems selected from poets with Bay State connections by Jill McDonough. The Common Threads kit features a .pdf with a discussion guide and videos of the poets discussing the poems. Perfect for reading groups, schools, libraries, etc. More than 350 groups have signed up and downloaded the kit.

2. The Academy of American Poets originated NPM back in 1996. They have a host of things you can do to celebrate, including participating in Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 18.

3. The Poetry Foundation has distributed copies of Poetry magazine to reading groups and writing workshops across the country. I have 10 copies of the April issue and will be sharing them with my writers' group along with a pdf discussion guide. (Common Threads, anyone?)  

4. Robert Lee Brewer starts his poem a day challenge at Poetic Asides. As of now, there are 198 comments to his first prompt post.

5. Susan Rich's Big Poetry Giveaway: Bloggers give away two poetry books--the first can be your own and the second book must be of another favorite poet of yours. The goal is to share favorite poets with others as well as to visit different blogs and see who others are reading.

6. Jacqueline Jones LaMon is reading a poetry collection a day, and commenting when she can. Great idea. If writing is not your thing, then pull out those collections gathering dust and read a few poems.

7. Joseph O. Legaspi and the folks at Kundiman are teaming up to do a poetry postcard challenge. Members who have signed up with exchange postcards throughout April. It is better to give than receive, after all.

Also ...


  • The most obvious thing to do in NPM is to go to a poetry reading. But consider taking a non-poet with you. When was the last time your mother/father/brother/sister/friend/significant other accompanied you anywhere, much less a poetry reading?  

  • Hang a poem a day outside of your cubicle at work.

  • And, my personal favorite: Take a poet to lunch! Maybe he/she will share a salad and some light verse with you. I was taken to lunch today by the beautiful and talented Erin Dionne. (Hmmm. how can I get people to take me to lunch for 29 more days?)

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