Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Get Creative for National Poetry Month 2016

April 2016 will mark the 20th anniversary of National Poetry Month, established and organized by the Academy of American Poets, 1966, for the purpose of increasing awareness and appreciation of poetry in the United States. Each year the Academy of American Poets partners with award winner designers and commission a poster for National Poetry Month. They distribute over 120,000 posters to schools, libraries, and bookstores from coast-to-coast. Individuals can also download an 8x12 copy of the poster from their PC from

National Poetry Month focuses on awareness and introduction of great poems and poets. There are over 30 ways to celebrate this event. Here are my top five: 

Read Poetry. The best way to appreciate poetry is to read it. Great poems and poets are easy to find. Visit the poetry section of your local library. Subscribe to a literary journal, or buy a poetry collection. Browse poetry websites, and if you find a work you admire, leave a comment on your opinion. Or you can sign up for Poem-a-Day on the Academy of American Poets website.

Write Poetry. Everyone has a little bit of a poet within him/her. It’s cathartic, it’s fun, and if you need prompts you can find one every day in April on the Poetic Asides blog. Write a poem about your favorite friend, animal or lover. Poetry has many forms Rhyming, Free Verse, Ode, Haiku, and so forth, try writing a poem in different forms, or if you feel the need for free expression—chalk a poem on a sidewalk.

Experience Poetry.. Get out to a poetry reading, like the Favorite Poem Project, April 4th, or the PoetryLife Spring Weekend, April2 & 23 at the Florida Studio Theatre (FST) in Sarasota, FL. If you’re too busy, there’s always YouTube. Search for “poetry reading” or “poetry slam,” there you’ll find hours of performances for you viewing pleasure.

Share Poetry. To love poetry is to share it. April 21 is Poem in Your Pocket Day—a day where you carry a favorite poem and share it throughout the day. Or, take your favorite collection and lend it to a friend. You may even want to give a book of poetry as a gift or write a collaborative poem with someone.

Publish Poetry. If you already doing all of the above try taking your poetry passion to the next level by getting your work published. Send your poems to a publication you love or post them online via a blog or forum (like Google G+). If you like the self-publication route, contact printers about creating a high-quality, low-cost chapbook you can give to friends and family.

Poetry is a very creative and expressive art forum. It transcends our physical bonds and is the true essence of free expression that everyone should experience, Even if you’re not a poet—celebrating National Poetry Month will be a rewarding and interesting journey.

You all know I am a poet, and  for National Poetry Month I will write one poem a day and post it on this site. In addition, I'll distribute a poem to people I meet, maybe I'll drop one off at my local library, or hand one out to a person I meet on the street, or at a restaurant, the possibilities are endless. Maybe I'll even record them on this site. So get inspired, create and have fun with poetry.

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