Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month

by Susan

April is National Poetry Month when words and flowers bloom. And, since it's Wyoming, it's when winter storms are still out in full force. So let's poke our heads out from the late snows and celebrate. Just like those daffodil blooms under the white stuff, I bet you have a few poems waiting to burst forth.

National Poetry Month was launched in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets. Among its goals, it's intended to highlight the legacy of American poets and introduce more Americans to the joy of reading poetry. The Academy of American Poets offers a list of 30 ways to celebrate -- everything from reading a book of poetry to putting a poem in your pocket to creating community events that celebrate poetry.

Here are a few other ideas to celebrate:
  •  Plan to attend the WyoPoets annual workshop in Casper this weekend, April 18-19
  • Treat yourself to a magnetic poetry kit or two or three. With themes from zombie to pirate to things lustier than pirates, there are plenty of choices these days.
  • Commit to writing a poem every day. If it's too difficult, lower your standards.
  • Try a poetic form or technique that is new to you. Go big try a new one each day. You can always lower your standards again.
  • If you're out and about among people, listen to snippets of conversations and create poetry from them. (Don't all writers eavesdrop? Admit it.)
  • Go wander your local public library bookshelves to create a book spine poem.
  • Revisit the poems of your childhood -- read some nursery rhymes, or curl up with some of your old favorites. (My childhood favorite happened to be one about bishop-eating rats.)
  • Get yourself a poetry-inspired t-shirt and wear it proudly.
  • Check out the public domain poetry over on Project Gutenberg.
  • Follow Writing Wyoming's growing poetry board on Pinterest. We'll add to it as we find great stuff for you.
  • In the comments, add your own ways to celebrate National Poetry Month. We'd love to hear your suggestions.
Past National Poet Laureate Ted Kooser always says that poetry should not be a puzzle you have to figure out. Approach poetry playfully, with joy. Have a great time the rest of National Poetry Month!

All photos copyright Susan Vittitow Mark.


  1. One way I'm celebrating National Poetry Month is by participating daily in Robert Lee Brewer's Poem a Day (PAD) challenge on his poetic Asides blog at http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/poetic-asides.

    1. Looks like a great one, Abbie! I added it to our Pinterest board.


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