Created by the Academy of American Poets, National Poetry Month began in 1998 to promote the availability and enjoyment of poetry for all citizens. Almost 20 years later, National Poetry Month has grown into one of the largest literary celebrations in the world. During the month of April, Good Millennial will be bringing you stories on our favorite poets and poems. Here are 5 ways you can start enjoying National Poetry Month today!
1. Buy a book of poetry from your local bookstore
Poetry is also the easiest art form to share over social media. There are lots of options (especially via Twitter and Instagram) to see and share poetry, but there’s nothing more calming than settling in with a real book of poetry. You could go with a classic like Where the Sidewalk Ends or something by Gertrude Stein (or even Willy Shakespeare!), but you could also check out some newbies that will soon be classics: Salt. by Nayyirah Waheed, Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth by Warsan Shire, or This Shadowy Place by America’s current poet laureate Dick Allen. Click here for some great suggestions!
2. Sign up to receive a Poem-a-Day from Poets.org
The Academy of American Poets will send one poem per day straight to your inbox! Sign up to receive previously unpublished poems by talented American poets on weekdays and receive classic poems you know and love on weekends.
3. Learn how to really read a poem
We all love the cathartic and visceral experience of reading poetry, but poet Edward Hirsch knows there’s more we can get from poems. From the first read to a deep analysis of the meter and rhyme, Hirsch explains how much more we can gain from really reading poetry. After you read this excerpt, check out his bestselling book How to Read a Poem and Fall In Love With Poetry to learn even more!
4. Attend an open mic or poetry reading
The easiest way to meet other local writers or poetry lovers is by getting out into your community! Check your local libraries or colleges for information on poets or authors visiting town. You can also see if your community centers, clubs, or coffee shops have open mic nights where you can read your own poems or pieces.
5. Write a poem yourself!
Remember when you were in middle school and you had so many feelings, you had write them on your pants or book covers or shoes? Well if you were anything like us, you also wrote some pretty emotional poems (or even song lyrics?). Maybe you grew out of your Limited Too jeans, but you definitely didn’t grow out of the need to express yourself through poetry. National Poetry Writing Month encourages citizens to write a poem a day and they even give you prompts and opportunities to share. Are you game? Share your poems with us, too!