National Poetry Month begins Sunday, which invites the question: how does one celebrate National Poetry Month? Don’t fret, friends; there are many ways to celebrate poetry. Here are 10.
10 National Poetry Month Activities
1. Attend a poetry reading.
Check your local library, coffee shops, and other art friendly venues for poetry readings or open mic events. No poetry readings in your town? Start your own. If organizing and/or hosting an event won’t work out, find readings on YouTube (or elsewhere on the vast interwebz). Watch them with a friend. If you live in or near Tulsa, I’d love to see you at the reading series I host, Third Thursday Poetry Night.
2. Read at least one poem each day.
This is easy to do and only takes a few minutes. You can seek out poems on the internet or in books, or, if you want something that takes less effort, sign up for a daily poetry newsletter. I subscribe to one from the American Academy of Poets that features both established and emerging poets.
3. Share poetry in an unexpected way.
Add a poem as your email signature. Write out poetry with sidewalk chalk. Staple a poem to a telephone post (beside those music gig flyers). Leave a poem with your tip when you dine out, and, please tip generously. I’m distributing packets from Found Poetry Review. These are only a few ideas. Let me know which other methods you’re using to spread poetry.
4. Keep a poem in your pocket.
Officially, Poem in Your Pocket Day is April 26th, but that doesn’t mean you can only carry a poem that day. You can print poems from the internet and fold them into pocket-sized pieces, or you can buy a small poetry volume.
5. Download a poetry app for your smartphone or tablet.
I wrote a post a while back about five free iPhone poetry apps, but there are many more available. I guess this is another way to carry a poem in your pocket.
6. Buy (and read) a poetry book.
Poetry isn’t just something for study in English class. Whitman, Frost, and other classics are great choices for something familiar, but why not give a contemporary poet a chance, too? Trust me, he or she could probably use the royalties.
7. Write a letter to a poet.
Have you read a poem that inspired you? Let the poet know how his or her work has affected you. Oh, when I say letter, I don’t mean email.
8. Write poetry.
I find that writing poetry is as moving as reading it, and I don’t think this is just because I consider myself a poet. Write at least one poem, or, if your more ambitious, join those of us who are participating in Robert Lee Brewer’s April Pad Poem-a-Day challenge.
9. Share your poetry.
I know many people who write poems they never share. Face your stage fright and share something at an open mic event. Post a poem to your blog. Give a copy of a poem to a friend. Write a poem for your significant other and read it to him or her.
10. Memorize a poem.
There’s no better way to always carry a poem with you than knowing it by heart. Anyway, it’s great brain exercise.
And one bonus:
11. Don’t stop when National Poetry Month ends.