Today’s weather notwithstanding, we are well into April – which means we are well into National Poetry Month. Whether it’s politics or taxes or a brief spate of springlike weather, the fact is that this post is late to herald the month! The good news is that there is much to come!
A veritable potpourri of possibilities – this simply gives the flavor of the host of readings, celebrations, blog posts and creative ways in which we welcome spring with a collective celebration of well-chosen words that enrich our lives throughout the year
The best way to learn everything there is to know about National Poetry Month is to start by diving deep into the official website sponsored by the Academy of American Poets: https://www.poets.org/national-poetry-month/home There you’ll learn about the two decades of celebration of the world’s literary treasures we share; you’ll also find a delightful poster, listing of events, and some unique projects including Poem in Your Pocket Day, details of the Dear Poet Project”, a chance to sign up to read a Poem-a-Day and scores of other ideas. It’s not too late to dip into this overflowing pool of celebratory options!!!
Don’t stop with the National Poetry Month section though – take time to explore more of the website. This is a never-depleted, always refresh source of ideas, insights, videotaped interviews and readings, poems for every occasion and more! A year-round treasure-trove!
Then move on to explore what’s happening closer to home.
- April 13, 5:30 PM, there’s a ticketed reception and reading sponsored by Milkweed Editions. The reception is $25 general admission wit lower rates for students, free for poets. The reading at 7:00 pm. Is free and open. The festivities are at Open Book, 1011 South Washington Ave, Minneapolis. (https://milkweed.org/blog/celebrate-national-poetry-month-with-us-on-april-13-2017)
- April 20-21 Magers & Quinn Booksellers will sponsor back-to-back evenings of poetry readings. Milkweed Editions co-founder Emilie Buchwald will read from her latest collection of poems The Moment’s Only Moment and Margaret Hasse will read from her new poetry book Between Us. On April 21 the store will host poets Lyle Daggett, Wang Ping and Morgan Grayce Willow reading their contributions from Resist Much, Obey Little: Inaugural Poems to the Resistance. Magers & Quinn is at 3038 Hennepin Avenue. Free and open. (Magersandquinn.com)
- Schools, colleges, public libraries, book clubs, indie bookstores and poetry lovers everywhere will be celebrating National Poetry Month in diverse and wondrous ways.
- The Wadena County Historical Society has invited local writers to submit an original poem; selected poems will be read at “Minnesota Voices,” April 20, at noon at the Wadena County Museum as part of April’s National Poetry Month.
- In honor of National Poetry Month, MPR’s The Thread is celebrating Poetry Fridays. Each Friday in April, The Thread will publish a selection of poetry from local independent publishing houses Graywolf Press, Milkweed Editions and Coffee House Press.
- Be sure to explore My-Minnesota (My-minnesota/blogspot.com). This special blog describes a delightful range of poetic possibilities you will want to explore – and possibly emulate.
- And this may be my favorite. Senator Franken is soliciting young people’s poetic thoughts on the theme “Celebrating the Veteran in My Life: Students are invited to write about any veteran or active military member who has had a positive impact on their life. Entries will be judged by a special panel; winners in each age group will receive a book autographed by Garrison Keillor. They will also be invited to attend a reception at Senator Franken’s St Paul office. Guests at the reception will include Senator Franken, Minnesota Poet Laureate Joyce Sutphen, Minnesota National Guard Major General Rick Nash, Minnesota National Guard Brigadier General Sandra Best, and Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius. Winning poems will be framed and displayed in Senator Franken’s Minnesota or Washington, DC office. The poetry contest is open until April 21. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to Office of Senator Al Franken, c/o Poetry Contest, 60 Plato Boulevard East, St Paul, MN 55107. Questions: contact Marc Kimball (651 221 2649 or email@example.com.
There are countless celebrations – ideas, activities, contests, visuals, projects and other ways to celebrate poetry! Though this list is abbreviated, sponsors, poets, and readers are welcome to forward notices of National Poetry Month 2017 activities at this late date. I will happily add notices to future events as soon as I learn the details. Thank you!
p.s. Recognizing as I do that the suggestion will raise an eyebrow or two, you might want to check out the Wikipedia post about National Poetry Month. Lots there about the genesis of the idea and the many ways poetry lovers have found to honor the poets and their work.
UPDATE FROM THE NATIONAL POETRY MONTH WEBSITE: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/15b5dc2bb5124021
UPDATE FROM U OF M : PANKAKE POETRY READING – BAO PHI http://www.continuum.umn.edu/event/pankake-poetry-reading-featuring-bao-phi/utm_source=continuum++News+from+University+of+Minnesota+Libraries&utm_campaign=c7df777509News_from_RSSFEED_TITLE_for_RSSFEED_DATE_3_17_2015&utmmedium=email&utm_term=0_35496412ca-c7df777509-174925501