“Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful.”
April showers bring May flowers, surely something joyous and uplifting to celebrate. The month of April also offers another delight: National Poetry Month, the largest literary celebration in the world. From coast to coast, millions of poetry lovers, students, teachers, librarians, booksellers, publishers, bloggers, and established poets take part in events aimed at marking the importance of poetry in American culture and our everyday lives.
Inspired by successful celebrations of February’s Black History Month and March’s Women’s History Month, the Academy of American Poets founded National Poetry Month in April of 1996 with several goals in mind:
To highlight the legacy and achievements of American poets;
To encourage the reading of poems as a cherished art form;
To help teachers bring poetry into their classrooms.
To encourage support for poets and poetry publication.
To celebrate National Poetry Month, special poetry readings are planned, students are invited to write letters to poets, and there’s even a Poem A Day marathon in which people are invited to write and submit poems based on prompts to judges for possible inclusion in an anthology.
And here’s another inspiring upcoming event: Poem in Your Pocket Day. This year on April 30, people all across the country will express their love of poetry by selecting a favorite poem, carrying it with them, and “sharing it with others throughout the day as schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, and other venues ring loud with open readings of poems from pockets.”
Poem in Your Pocket Day: What a fantastic idea! I’m going to muse a while on which poem I’d like to carry in my pocket, so I can add my voice to this joyful noise. As a poetry lover, I can’t think of anything more wonderful to carry in my pocket than a poem. I carry a few in my heart that I memorized when I was a kid and often recite them to myself. How about you? Do you have a favorite poem to tuck in your pocket? For more on the Academy of American Poets and National Poetry Month, visit: poets.org. And write on!