Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Explore Poetry

Today is the first day of April and that means it's the first day of National Poetry Month. The Academy of American Poets started National Poetry Month in 1996 as a vehicle to spotlight the art, poets past and present, and poetry publications.

This year, I'd like you to think about exploring poetry this month. How? Here are a few ideas:

1. Search for poetry about subjects that interest you. I think you will be surprised to see what turns up. In February, I was asked to read a classic love poem at an event. I did a search for jazz love poems and found my way to this beautiful piece by Langston Hughes:

Juke Box Love Song   

2. Look into the history of poetry in your community. Perhaps you will find a connection to a well-known poet or simply a local poet whose work you enjoy. I found out that Lucille Clifton was born in a suburb of Buffalo, N.Y., as was I. There is about a 14-year span during which we lived there at the same time.

3. Check out your current local poetry scene. What are the literary organizations in your area? What venues hold poetry readings? Do bookstores or libraries carry books by local poets?

4. Is National Poetry Month celebrated in your community? In the metropolitan Kansas City (Mo) area, the Johnson County (KS) Library and The Writers Place partner to present a Poem-A-Day on the library's website in April. Here is the link to the program:

This is just one of the ways National Poetry Month is celebrated in my area. Find out if there are any activities in your area, then join in!

Related Links

How do you like to explore poetry?

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  1. Very cool, Michelle! Thanks for the great resources!

    1. You're welcome, Julia. It's a fun month for poets!