Friday, April 26, 2013

Today is World Intellectual Property Day

Today--April 26--is World Intellectual Property Day. This day was designated by the members of the World Intellectual Property Organization "to promote discussion of the role of intellectual property in encouraging innovation and creativity" and "with the aim of increasing general understanding of IP". I think is a fantastic idea. Poetry--and indeed all forms of creative writing, including essays, novels, scripts, etc.--constitute intellectual property.

The theme for 2013 is "Creativity: The Next Generation". The WIPO site has a great list of suggested activities. One of those activities, which relates to writing and copyright issues, was to "celebrate the works of a notable inventor, artist, designer, entrepreneur, etc.". "Notable writer" and "notable poet" fit well within that list, so I'm going to start a series here on the blog highlighting various poets who have inspired me over the years.

Who inspires you?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

April is National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month. National Poetry Month was started by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. In their own words:

"National Poetry Month is a month-long, national celebration of poetry established by the Academy of American Poets. The concept is to widen the attention of individuals and the media—to the art of poetry, to living poets, to our complex poetic heritage, and to poetry books and journals of wide aesthetic range and concern. We hope to increase the visibility and availability of poetry in popular culture while acknowledging and celebrating poetry’s ability to sustain itself in the many places where it is practiced and appreciated."
One of my favorite National Poetry Month activities is NaPoWriMo, which stands for National Poetry Writing Month and is modeled after NaNoWriMo--that's National Novel Writing Month, in case you didn't get it. NaPoWri Mo was started in 2003 by Maureen Thorson. The goal during NaPoWriMo is to write 30 poems in 30 days. They don't have to be good poems, just something down on paper that can be edited later.

I've been doing NaPoWriMo for several years now, and I highly recommend the experience. Although it can be tough to let go of the inner editor that wants every line and image to be JUST PERFECT before letting go of it, the results at the end of the month are glorious. Thirty new poems to play with!

If you post your work on a blog or personal web site, you can add your site to the list of those at the official NaPoWriMo site--just click here and follow the instructions. Bloggers on Wordpress can also add the tag NaPoWriMo to their posts and share their creations. If you have a Wordpress account and just want to read what others have written, navigate to the "Reader" page and enter "Napowrimo" in the search box under Topics.

Or if you're like me, you can just print off the poem and put it in a folder to work on after the end of the month. Happy poetry writing!