April is National Poetry Month, a celebration that was started in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets. The Academy has a 30 Ways to Celebrate list on its website that provides a variety of ways to engage with poetry.
For poets, this month is a special time to practice their craft. There are many writing challenges available to get the creative juices flowing. I participate in the Poem-A-Day Challenge on Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides blog.
As I was getting ready to write this blog post, it occurred to me that the writing challenges could also be valuable to people who say they don't understand or can't connect to poetry. You won't quite get to look over the poets' shoulders as they write, but you'll be pretty close.
For the PAD Challenge, first read the prompt. This is the starting point for each of the poets. Next, you will be able to read hundreds of poems that are the result of this same prompt. I think you will be surprised by the variety of the poems both in form and subject. Some poets will submit multiple poems for the same prompt that are very different from each other. I bet that you will find several to which you relate because they are talking about an experience similar to one you have had, something that happens every day.
I challenge you to participate in a poetry challenge this month either by writing or reading. If you have links to other challenges please feel free to leave them in the comments.
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