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How to Celebrate National Poetry Month

Updated on April 2, 2009

April is National Poetry Month, a time to celebrate the history of poetry and the role that poetry can play in our lives today. Many people fail to celebrate this month once they are out of school and are no longer asked to do so. However, poetry can add a little spark of something rich and fun to your life if you’ll let it so I would suggest trying to find small ways to celebrate it during this month that has been set aside to honor the art form.

Learn About the History of National Poetry Month

Before you begin to celebrate National Poetry Month, maybe you should gain an understanding of the history of the celebration. National Poetry Month was established in the United States in 1996. At that time the Academy of American Poets came together and set forth the goal of using the month of April to raise awareness about poetry and to make poetry more visible in the every day lives of people across the nation. The celebrations that are linked with the month are designed to allow people to gain insight into the history of poetry, the works of poets living today and to the breadth of poetry books that are out there. April was selected as the month to celebrate poetry because it was believed that this was the month when there could be the most possible participation from bookstores, publishers and educational institutions.

Turn Your Attention to Poetry

You don’t necessarily have to do any major thing to celebrate National Poetry Month. Instead, you really just need to put poetry on your radar. When you are surfing the web, take a few moments to search out a poem online or a poetry reading on YouTube. When you are at the local library, take a turn down the poetry aisle. When you are looking for events to attend this month, check out the calendars at local bookstores which are likely celebrating National Poetry Month with poetry readings. Start paying attention to where you can find poetry in your every day life.

Read a Little Bit of Poetry this Month

One of the simplest ways to celebrate National Poetry Month is to take a few moments out of each day in April to read a poem or two. You can find poetry online, get a poetry book from a local store or even ask people that you love to send poetry to you. A poem doesn’t take very long to read and yet you can choose to linger over it and reflect upon it if you like. This can be a great way to start or end each day.

Write a Little Bit of Poetry this Month

There is a poet inside each of us. Sure, not all of us have practiced the art to the point where we can truly make magic on the page but that shouldn’t stop us from enjoying the fun of playing around with words. Set aside some time in April to sit down and play around with making your own poems. Write about something silly or something serious. Write for your eyes only or write a poem to share with a child or spouse. Look at an object sitting in front of you and describe it with all of your senses or dig deep inside your emotional core and try to articulate what’s there on the page. Have fun with it.

Hear a Little Bit of Poetry this Month

There are many different types of places that host poetry readings during the month of April as part of National Poetry Month celebrations. Bookstores are a great place to start looking for poetry readings. You can also look at the calendars of local theatres and cafes where poetry readings, open mic poetry nights and poetry slams may all take the stage. Go with an open mind and see what you can get out of the experience. You don’t have to love all types of poetry to have your world broadened a bit by a night out listening to poets do their thing.

Host a Poetry Party

You can truly celebrate National Poetry Month in your life by hosting a poetry party at your home. There is still plenty of time left in the month to plan something like this and it can be as big or as small as you’d like. There are many different methods of hosting such a party. One would be to ask everyone to bring a favorite poem to read out loud. Another would be to host a costume party in which everyone dresses like his or her favorite poet. Another would be to have a small gathering where you write and share your own poetry together. Create the kind of poetry party that you feel will bring magic to your daily life.

Find Poetry in the Every Day

What is great about poetry is that it takes what is happening every day and describes it in a way that makes it seem more fanciful and more interesting. The spirit of this can be captured without words as you take the time to appreciate the small things in your every day life. Stop to really take in the taste of your morning coffee and what you may experience is essentially poetry in action. This could inspire you to think of your own poem over your coffee or it may just infuse your life with the approach to living that is at the core of good poetry. Either way, your day will be enhanced by the poetry experience and you may find that you want poetry to be a part of your life long after April has come to its end.



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