Wednesday, February 25, 2015

National Poetry Month is coming

For the past several years, I've been a member of the Academy of American Poets. Each April since 1996, the Academy and its partners have sponsored National Poetry Month.

2011 National Poetry Month Poster
Bright Objects Hypnotize the Mnd

According to their web site, as part of that celebration, they:
  • ... offer the Dear Poet project to help teachers and students engage with the art of poetry in a meaningful way.
  • ... commission an artist to create an official National Poetry Month poster, which they distribute free of charge to over 120,000 teachers, librarians, and booksellers nationwide.
  • ... provide resources, including downloadable poems, for National Poem in Your Pocket Day.
  • ... publish and distribute a new poem every day through Poem-a-Day.
  • ... host range of special events and readings in April, including their star-studded annual Poetry & the Creative Mind event.
  • ... act as the official clearing house for news and information about National Poetry Month.
  • ... offer inspiration and resources for celebrating National Poetry Month on the local level, including tips for teachers and tips for librarians. (Share tips from your own celebrations by emailing npm@poets.org or tweeting them to @POETSorg using #npm15.)
  • ... ensure that poetry gains national attention in the media each April by sending press releases to editors and journalists across the country. As a result, thousands of articles about poetry appear in newspapers, magazines, and online media outlets.
I don't remember when My Minnesota started to include a poem at the bottom of each daily posting, sometime around the middle of 2013, I think. That means we've managed to find a poem that relates to each day's topic for going on two years. Poetry can be an important part of life if we want it to be.

2009 National Poetry Month Poster
Do I Dare Disturb the Universe

I'm not sure what we're going to try here for National Poetry Month this year. Once we've decided, you'll be among the first to know. My Minnesota has a lot of poets and poetry to celebrate and a number of independent local book sellers where we can support our local economy by buying a volume written by one Minnesota's own and sold by another. I suspect you may find a lot of that here as we enjoy April's many pleasures.

In lieu of a poem today, enjoy Paul Simon singing April - Come She Will. (I know all to well we don't get to skip March, the Month of Mud, St. Patrick's Day and milder temperatures, I hope. At this stage of Winter, I'm hanging on and looking for respite.)

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