Ahhh April, when our minds turn from fools to taxes to poetry.
It's official: the Academy of American Poets declares April as National Poetry Month. Here are a few ways I'll mark the occasion:
• Host a Poetry & Prose Reading
It's my party and I'll write if I want to . . . Gear up for a fun (code: not stuffy and dull) reading event on April 24th at 7pm in Yachats, Oregon. Go here for details.
• Buy poetry
Sure, we all love Mary Oliver and Billy Collins, but for every ''bestseller" poet there are 100s of little known writers with books eager for your love. Support your local poets (i.e, friends, colleagues, neighbors) and buy their books.
• Read poems
Toss aside the People magazine and reach for poetry instead. Don't worry about "getting it" or making sense of it, just enjoy the language and ideas. Let words wash over you and see what floats.
• Write poems
I'm not a big fan of writing regimes. I've done my share of 'you must write' schedules and I tend toward sullen guilt rather than breakthrough art. Still . . . there is much to be said for commitment, and I applaud those who take part in the Write-a-Poem-A-Day-Challenge, or writing groups, or daily word counts. These practices make us accountable. Good writing doesn't just happen — you gotta show up.
• Celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day
My very favorite part of National Poetry Month is Poem in Your Pocket Day. This year it falls on Thursday, April 29th. Go here and get ready!
How about you? What are you doing to feed your mind and your writing? How are you making National Poetry Month meaningful?