Shake Out Your Couplets and Similes: It’s National Poetry Month!

2 Apr

(the mystery of you in never lost on me)

I’m a little late to the show, but yesterday kicked off National Poetry Month.  I’m sure there will be readings and gatherings and celebrations in your town–the quantity of stuff happening in New York City is staggering and I’m still finding out about new venues and groups every day–but you can find lots of stuff on the Internet, which I thought I would share, in the event that your town isn’t able to host such robust offerings.

Here’s a few that stood out for me:

Poetry Everywhere has both video of well-known poets reading their work (most seem to come from the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, which I desperately want to attend some day), and animated video of poetry, which is super cool and really imaginative.  I love Mark Doty and he reads his poem “Brian, Age 7” on the site.  Amazing, amazing, amazing.  He’s so my hero.

Farrar, Straus, and Giroux (FSG) Books is doing a sign-up for a poem a day to your email.  Today’s poem was “Dust” by C.K. Williams, who, incidentally, I first heard read earlier this week at the Threepenny Review 30th Anniversary reading at McNally Jackson, a very happenin’ SoHo bookstore (I have pictures and comments to post from that reading, which I hope to get to today).  From Mr. Williams’ poem, I learned the word “poplet” as in “the poplets of light.”  Lovely, huh?

The Academy of American Poets is also doing a poem-a-day thing, in addition to all the wonderful poems and info they have on their site.

And while Flavorpill’s Pic of the Day isn’t about poetry per se, it may inspire some poetic thinking in your noggin.  Today’s pics are courtesy of Noel Kerns, who “paints abandoned spaces with colorful gelled lights in his nocturnal work.”  I particularly loved this one:

Noel Kerns' Abandoned Cafe

I’ve decided to participate in NaPoWriMo this time around, which challenges people to write a poem a day for National Poetry Month.  I’m sure many of mine will be terrible and unfortunate, but it’s the practice of the thing that’s important, putting your butt in the chair each and every day, regardless of your mood or schedule.  I’ll let you know how it pans out.  So far, I’ve written three new poems (I think one of them may actually be a “real” poem) and revised a couple I’ve been struggling with for a while.  So I’m off to a good start.

I hope you get out there (online or in the brick-and-mortar world) to hear and read poetry this month.  It might just be addictive.

Rock on, people.

– Jho


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