Thursday, April 26, 2012

National Poem In Your Pocket Day

Today is National Poem in Your Pocket Day. This day was created in 2002 in New York City as part of the city's celebration of National Poetry Month. In 2009, the Academy of American Poets promoted the idea nationally.

The idea is simply to share poetry. Print out or write out your favorite poem, make copies and hand them out throughout the day. The Johnson County (Kansas) Library, which partners with The Writers Place to post a Poem-A-Day in April, prints bookmarks with those same poems for Poem In Your Pocket Day. Or, if you prefer to take advantage of today's technology, text, tweet, email or post your favorites. And, don't forget the art of spoken word.

See if there are any special celebrations in your area. Most importantly, share some words you love today.
Here is Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken", read by the poet himself.

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ekphrastic Poetry

I enjoy writing ekphrastic poetry; poetry that is inspired by visual art. On one of my morning walks, I took the photograph below and then wrote the poem that follows.

Color My Day

Color my day
as expansive as
a clear blue sky
as alive as
the green trees
as gentle as
a pink rose
as rich as
the golden sun
Color my day

Try writing an ekphrastic poem. Find a painting, photograph, sculpture or other piece of visual art that intrigues you and see what you are inspired to write. The piece may be in a museum, a park or even in your own home. You may be drawn to describe the work, focus on a few elements of it or even have a conversation with the artist. 

I hope you find that writing ekphrastic poetry enhances both your writing and your enjoyment of the art.


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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Poetry and Jazz

In addition to being National Poetry Month, April also is Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM). JAM is an initiative of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History. It is intended to draw attention to both jazz history and jazz today and encourage jazz programming throughout the month.

Jazz and poetry have a special relationship. I was fortunate to have been introduced to jazz poetry through a workshop offered by The Writers Place. Glenn North of the American Jazz Museum was the facilitator.

Music Bath

Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons, and you will find that it is to the soul what the water bath is to the body.-Oliver Wendell Holmes

Notes flow from speakers
dripping or gushing on demand.
Beats band into bars
and 12 bars become the blues.
Riffs repeat. Riffs repeat.
Tones tantalize and turn into
the simultaneous sounds
that are harmony.
Song stylists sing soulfully.
Total immersion is achieved.

Learn more about Jazz Appreciation Month by going to Smithsonian Jazz

You also might be interested in "A Brief Guide to Jazz Poetry".

Sunday, April 8, 2012

National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month. Click here to learn more about National Poetry Month and the role of the Academy of American Poets in this initiative.

Locally, the Johnson County (KS)  Library partners with The Writers Place to post a Poem-a-Day in April in honor of National Poetry Month. One poem is featured each day then archived on the site. Go to and click on the National Poetry Month link to see the featured poem. Click "more" on that page to go to the archive to see the poems that already have been featured this month and those from previous years.

I hope you will return to the site often.