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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Counting the ways to celebrate National Poetry Month

Fifteen years ago The Academy of American Poets launched National Poetry Month “to widen the attention of individuals and the media—to the art of poetry, to living poets, to our complex poetic heritage, and to poetry books and journals of wide aesthetic range and concern.” Every year they invent new ways to get the country excited about poetry—and inspire others to do the same. Check out the AAP's thirty ways to celebrate—thirty ideas for what you can do to call attention to poetry, from suggestions as simple as “memorize a poem” to the more subversive “put poetry in an unexpected place.” Here's more:

Discover a new poem every day this month:
  • Poem-A-Day from the AAP is available year round on its webpage, via email, or using the Poem Flow iPhone App.
  • The editors of The New York Review of Books have selected thirty poems from the five hundred or so poems published “over the years” and are posting a new one every day in April.
  • Knopf Poetry has its own Poem-A-Day page drawing from poets it has published and available on its webpage or via email. You can also find all the poems posted in April 2010.
  • For the third year The Rumpus celebrates National Poetry Month by publishing a new, previously unpublished poem every day in April. 
  • Poetry Daily, of course, offers a new poem every day year round.
Poets on writing:
  • Thirty poets on Twitter: Follow the AAP's @POETSorg to read tweets by a different guest poet every day in April. See who will be tweeting in the upcoming days.
  • Last April The Poetry Foundation invited contributors to Harriet, its news blog, to write about the “whats, when, wheres, and whys of their writing and performing lives.” The result was “one of the most insightful, provocative, and, above all, supremely engaging months we have ever had on the blog.” So invites went out again. Read this year's entries.
  • Aimed at young writers, Scholastic's workshop-oriented National Poetry Month site features several poets, including Maya Angelou, explaining why they write.
Poets reading:
  • Use the National Poetry Map, an AAP creation, to find poetry readings and events in your state.
  • Watch a video at FSG Poetry of Paul Muldoon and Robert Pinsky celebrating the coincidence of National Poetry Month and National Podiatry Month by "sharing a few metrical feet." 
  • The University of New Mexico has added several new videos—of Renny Golden, Tony Mares, and Jessica Helen Lopez—to its ongoing collection of National Poetry Month videos of poets reading their work
Readers on poetry: 
  • This year the semifinals and the finals of Poetry Outloud, the annual national recitation contest sponsored by The Poetry Foundation and The National Endowment for the Arts, will be webcast live. Watch for it on April 28 and 29. 
  • At Poetry Society of America Laurel Crosby is asking its readers to “share the line of poetry that made you fall in love with the art.” More than 200 have responded so far. 
  • A perennial magnet for poetry lovers is the Favorite Poem Project, a collaboration between Boston University and The Library of Congress. Founded by Robert Pinsky in 1997 when he was Poet Laureate of the United States, the project features fifty short video documentaries of "individual Americans reading and speaking personally about poems they love."
Related LOA works: Four Centuries of American Poetry (five volumes—plus a free book); American Poets Project – The Complete Set (31 volumes)

1 comment:

  1. These are great ideas - thank you! Readers might also like to know about Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre's free weekly poem service, which sends out a contemporary poem to your inbox each Monday: http://ah.brookes.ac.uk/poetry/weeklypoem


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