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!

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