national poetry monthApril is here, which means National Poetry Month is officially underway.

Poetry is near and dear to my heart. When I first started writing back in junior high, poetry is what got my pen moving. In high school and college, it’s what kept my pen moving.

I’ll be celebrating and recognizing National Poetry Month throughout April here at Writing Forward.

According to

National Poetry Month was established by the Academy of American Poets as a month-long, national celebration of poetry. The concept was to increase the attention paid – by individuals and the media – to the art of poetry, to living poets, to our poetic heritage, and to poetry books and magazines.

About National Poetry Month

National poetry month has been a tradition every April since 1996. Here are some interesting facts about this month-long, literary celebration:

  • National Poetry Month was inspired by the success of both Black History Month (February) and Women’s History Month (March).
  • It was started by the Academy of American Poets as a way to promote poetry in the U.S. It’s also recognized in Canada. Britain honors poetry in October.
  • Poetry books are often published in April. Teachers use April as an opportunity to focus on poetry in the classroom. Bookstores have special poetry readings this month.
  • Even though we focus on poetry throughout April, we should enjoy, celebrate, embrace, promote, read, and write poetry all year long!

To learn more, visit the official National Poetry Month FAQ.

Celebrate Poetry!

There are lots of ways that you can participate in National Poetry Month:

  • Print your favorite poem and carry it in your pocket all month. Share it with friends, family, and co-workers.
  • Read a book of poetry. You can also use email to share your favorite poems.
  • Listen to poetry podcasts: check out Indiefeed Performance Poetry (cutting-edge, slam poetry). You can subscribe via iTunes.
  • Write poetry and/or submit your poetry to publications. Make a chapbook.
  • Promote poetry on your blog or via social media like Facebook and Twitter.
  • Show your support for poetry by supporting poets. Buy a book of poetry or donate to a poetry-friendly organization.

There are plenty of other ways that you can honor poetry this month. The Academy of American Poets has a list of 30 ways to celebrate — that’s one activity for each day of the month!

National Poetry WRITING Month

I’ve heard some buzz in the last couple of years about a little thing called NaPoWriMo — National Poetry Writing Month. This was inspired by NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), in which participants write a 50,000-word novel in thirty days during November. For NaPoWriMo, you write a poem a day for thirty days in April. Want to give it a try but not sure how to start? Check out these poetry prompts.

How are you going to celebrate National Poetry Month? Who are some of your favorite poets, and what are your favorite poems? Do you write poetry? Share and discuss poetry in the comments.

Keep writing poetry!

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