April may be best known for jokes and showers, but it also is a month in which two art forms are highlighted. April is both National Poetry Month and Jazz Appreciation Month.
National Poetry Month was started by the American Academy of Poets 17 years ago. It is a time to celebrate poetry and the place it has played and continues to play in our culture. Individuals and organizations are encouraged to celebrate.
Click here for some suggestions from the Academy. One of the suggestions that jumped out at me is "Take a Poem Out to Lunch". Of course my first thought was "or, you could take a poet out to lunch!"
Here in the Kansas City metropolitan area, we are fortunate to have a Poem-a-Day Program sponsored by the Johnson County Library. Go to the library's homepage beginning April 1 and there will be a link to the program. Poems are posted everyday in April and archived on the site. If you go to the archive, you also will see poems from previous years. The poems for this program are supplied by The Writers Place.
The Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History has led the Jazz Appreciation Month initiative. The purpose is to learn more about jazz history and the current jazz scene in our country.
Click here for some suggestions on how to celebrate JAM. This is not on the list, but I think in fairness I have to suggest that you take jazz or a jazz performer out to lunch!
One suggestion is to visit a jazz city or museum. Of course, I am going to suggest Kansas City. By visiting the American Jazz Museum and The Blue Room, you can learn about jazz history and hear contemporary performers.
I hope you will take some time in April to explore both poetry and jazz. It will be both a fun and enriching experience.
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