Saturday, April 30, 2016

Happy 20th to National Poetry Month

Did you know that National Poetry Month is celebrating its 20th year in 2016? According to their website, it is the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K-12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, bloggers, and poets marking poetry’s important place in our culture and our lives every April.
Although I only write poetry occasionally, I enjoy reading and hearing it. To me, poetry is music with words.
Learning this was National Poetry Month, I began to search the web and found there were many activities. Maybe next year I will do this earlier so we can take part in this celebration.
The Academy of American Poets established National Poetry Month in 1996. National Poetry Month is a registered trademark of the Academy of American Poets.
Working together, poets, booksellers, librarians, and teachers chose April as a month when poetry could be celebrated with high level of participation and “it seemed the best time within the year to turn attention toward the art of poetry—in an ultimate effort to encourage poetry readership year-round,” according to National Poetry Month faq.
Okay, It’s good to have people focus on poetry early in the year, but I also wonder if this could have anything to do with T. S. Eliot poetic statement “April is the cruelest month,” from The Wasteland. Coincidence?
Much of what is written here came from the related poetry websites. Listed goals of National Poetry Month are:
·         highlighting the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets
·         encouraging the reading of poems
·         assisting teachers in bringing poetry into their classrooms
·         increasing the attention paid to poetry by national and local media
·         encouraging increased publication and distribution of poetry books, and 
·         encouraging support for poets and poetry.
Organizations do not need permission to participate in the celebration and are encouraged to plan their own events. They can use the official National Poetry Month logo, which can be from their website.
There are thousands of ways to celebrate. The website provides a list of 30 ways people and groups can join the celebration.
National Poetry Month is just one of the many programs of the Academy of American Poets. To keep the celebration going, consider becoming a member, which entitles you to special benefits throughout the year. You can also sign up for Poem-a-Day to receive free daily poems by email all year long.
It’s a little late to celebrate this April, but maybe try being a part of this celebration next year.

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