Saturday, March 31, 2012

APRIL! Let the poetry binge begin

 April is almost here and with it National Poetry Month. I must say, I get more than a little excited anticipating April. For the last few years the month has seen me on a poetry-writing binge. This year won't be much different, although I've given myself permission to take weekends off. Other Aprils I have discovered that the push to write something new every day leads, toward the end of the month, to burnout. So I rarely make my target of 30 new poems anyway. Thus my goal this year will be to write 21 new poems (one for each weekday of April). We'll see if that works.

Whether you're a poetry enthusiast or someone who enjoys just the odd nibble, you can celebrate National Poetry month too. Below are some suggestions for how:

1. Write some poetry

For writers there are lots of sites offering regular prompts.





  • Laura Purdie Salas - a weekly photo prompt with a challenge to write a poem of 15 words or less.


Margo Ruby - Wordgathering  - the weekly Friday post is a smorgasbord of  poetry-related links of interest.


Every day during April:

Robert Lee Brewer at Poetic Asides

List of prompts:

2. Explore poetry blogs.

Some poetry blogs you might enjoy:

Interested in children's poetry? The poetic branch of the Kidlitosphere has a ton of things going on. Among them:
  • Gotta Book (Greg Pincus) is featuring 30 children's poets posting poems every day of April.
  • Jama's Alphabet Soup (Jama Rattigan) is serving up a poetry potluck with poems by a slew of visiting poets and giveaways for those who leave comments.

3. Get a poem  delivered to your in-box daily. 

Here are some sites to check out for that:
  • Your Daily Poem 
  • The Writer's Almanac: a daily poem along with the audio file of Garrison Keillor reading it 
  • Every Day Poems - from TS Poetry Press: For a modest 2.99/year, get a fresh poem delivered by email five days a week (eclectic, many poems by rising new poets,  always interesting.)

4. Attend a poetry reading

Check out the local media for poetry readings in your area. If you live near me (B.C.'s Fraser Valley) our MSA Poets Potpourri Society has a reading night with an open mic planned for April 16th (6:30-8:30 at the Clearbrook Library). New poets are always welcome. Also check the Poetry Around Town tab on our website for more poetry events in the area.

5. Read poems

Don't have any poetry around? Buy some. You don't even have to leave the house if you make your purchase an e-book. A couple of books I've enjoyed lately:
  • Twelve for the Record by Diane Lockward - luscious, fun, clever poems. Some of her most well known are included in this 12-poem collection.
  • Undone by Sue Goyette. Not an ebook and not new, but wonderful, sad poems. (I need to raid my own poetry bookshelf more often!)

6. Start a poetry blog

If till now you've been a closet poet, consider opening your own blog and joining in the vibrant community of poets on the internet.
Two sites from which you can set up a blog for free:

Let the feast begin!

"...wait on the wind,
catch a scent of salt,
call it our life.
- from "Our Valley" by Philip Levine

U.S. 2012 National Poetry Month poster design
Chin-Yee Lai

Download pdf of Canadian 2012 National Poetry Month poster here.
Download pdf of U.S. 2012 National Poetry Month poster here.


Charles Van Gorkom said...

Thank-you, Violet! Here's to your 21 new poems!

violet said...

Thanks, Charlie. I know it's going to be a fun, and hopefully productive, month.

Janet said...

Good Luck Violet! I will book-mark this page! Thank-you for all the links you share here.

God bless you this Easter Season.

violet said...

Thank you Janet! And God bless you too. I enjoyed your Easter Tankas!

Janet said...


Pilgrim said...

I got to hear Luci Shaw at the Calvin Festival of Faith and Writing. I did not hear Li-Young Lee, but have ordered his interviews (Alabaster Jar) from Amazon. I have put George Mackay Brown on my Amazon wish list. (I bought Luci's Harvesting Fog at the Conference.)
I guess I celebrate poetry month by spending money on it. :-)

violet said...

How wonderful for you! I am so envious of your yearly trip to the Calvin Festival. Someday...

And what a great way to celebration NPM -- with new books of poetry.