• Kathleen Cassen Mickelson

National Poetry Month is Looming – What Are Your Plans?

One of my colleagues sent me an email this morning that asked what I was going to do for National Poetry Month. I realized I had been so focused on putting together the April edition of Every Day Poets that I hadn’t even thought about that.

But there are poetic things to be done. And questions to ask all of you out there. Well, assuming there is an “all of you out there” who read this and that you aren’t all related to me. And if you’re reading this and you are related to me, for Pete’s sake, forward this to someone I don’t know. Please.

And there I go, digressing. I’m really good at that.

Anyway, National Poetry Month, which begins on April 1, offers all kinds of ways to share poetry and let people know that poetry isn’t stuffy, elitist, inaccessible, or a rarefied experience. Sure, there is poetry that sometimes seems like a huge exercise is how to be difficult (like T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land” or Ezra Pound’s “The Cantos“), but there is also plenty of poetry written in plain language that wastes nothing and hits the jugular (Raymond Carver’s “Late Fragment“). So, if you run across someone who equates poetry with extreme boredom, share these links with them.

1. Forget the written word. Try poetry out loud. Go to a poetry slam: http://www.poetryslam.com/index.php?Itemid=39&id=18&layout=blog&option=com_content&view=category

2. Give a kid a place to send their creations. Steer them to Teen Ink: http://teenink.com/poetry/

3. Did I say “forget the written word”? Just kidding. Embrace it through the Academy of American Poets: http://www.poets.org/

4. Jolt your own creative juices. Try out The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron: http://www.theartistsway.com/

As for me, I’ll be writing a poem a day all month long. And I might pull my hard copy of The Artist’s Way off my bookshelf and take it to the park. Nothing like creating poetry outside in the spring, although this is Minnesota. I might have to bring my mittens with me.

DON’T FORGET THE CALL FOR TARGETED SUBMISSIONS AT EVERY DAY POETS: Deadline for submissions to the How to Handle Explosives Week competition is May 1. Watch for weekly prompts to nudge writers in the right direction at www.everydaypoets.com.

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