Did you know April is National Poetry Month?
The Academy of American Poets inaugurated National Poetry Month in 1996, which makes this its 20 year. I love the excuse to raise awareness about poetry. So here are six sexy ways to celebrate this month.
1. Read poetry! I know. That’s pretty obvious, right?
The sexy part: Read with someone you love. If you’re not sure where to start, maybe Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” Candlelight is nice. A glass of wine, perhaps. I leave the rest to you.
2. Subscribe to Poem-a-Day. Poem-a-Day will make poetry reading an easy part of your life. It’s a daily poem emailed from the Academy. I don’t read the poem every day, but I do read it most days. Sometimes I’m moved to tears, or to laughter. Sometimes I’m left shaking my head, trying to imagine what a particular poem was about. But I’m always left thinking about word choice and rhythm and emotion. In a small moment, I’m left steeped in some feeling that I don’t always want to experience directly, but which leaves me a better person for having been exposed to it. I am certainly a better writer for the poetry I read. And they have a huge selection of poems available online.
They don’t have a “sexy category,” but “romance” should do the trick.
3. Put up a Poster. One really special thing they’ve done this year is commission Roz Chaz to do a poster using Mark Strand’s fabulous poem, “Eating Poetry,” and giving it away for free. I’m sharing a digital copy here and on social media.
Okay, this isn’t exactly sexy. There may be sexy things to do with this poster, but if I know them I am not admitting it.
4. Go forth and meet a poet. They are real people, believe it or not. Many local independent bookstores (some of which are listed in the sidebar to the right here) are hosting poets for readings. You can follow @POETSorg or the hashtag #npm15 to find out what’s going on near you.
This can be a seriously sexy evening. If they aren’t serving wine at the reading, go out with your sweetheart for a glass afterwards.
5. Poem in Your Pocket Day. I love this event, which this year is April 30 this year. Details here, but it’s pretty simple. Carry a poem in your pocket. Share it with friends. And you can also share your poem selection on Twitter by using the hashtag #pocketpoem. My poem this year, by the way, will be the one that was given the Page Davidson Clayton Poetry Prize for Emerging Poets this year. It’s called “The Astronaut 512 Miles from Earth,” and it’s by Rachel Morgenstern-Clarren. You can read it on her tumblr — or look for me. I mean to have it in my pocket all month.
The sexy part. Let someone special take the poem out at the end of the day. 😉
6. Write a Poem Yourself! I know, I’m intimidated, too. But there are a few terrific books to get you started, including Mary Oliver’s A Poetry Handbook and The Making of a Poem by Eavan Boland and Mark Strand.
Seriously, poetry is sexy.
Happy National Poetry Month! And of course this is no April Fool. – Meg