30 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month
National Poetry Month is a month-long, national celebration of poetry established by the Academy of American Poets in 1996 with the ultimate goal of widening the attention of individuals and the media—to the art of poetry, to living poets, to our complex poetic heritage, and to poetry books and journals of wide aesthetic range and concern. This year the Academy offers a list of 30 ways (one activity for each day of the month!) you can celebrate National Poetry Month. Here's ten from their extensive list:
1. Read a book of poetry.
2. Memorize a poem.
3. Revisit a classic poem. Maybe a Shakespearean sonnet?
4. Put poetry in an unexpected place...perhaps the bathroom mirror?
5. Bring a poem to your place of worship.
6. Attend a poetry reading at your bookstore, library, or coffee shop.
7. Support a literary organization.
8. Take a poem out to lunch.
9. Recite a poem to family or friends.
10. Add your favorite verse to your email signature.
Visit poets.org to discover the remaining 20 ways you can celebrate National Poetry Month! Which is your favorite? What other ideas can you come up with?
TEACHERS! Check Out These Tips and the Citizen Writer Contest!
Be sure to check out the Academy's Tips for Teachers for great classroom poetry activities! And don't forget Reading Rockets and AdLit.org's Citizen Writer Challenge, which includes the In Verse challenge inviting students to write and submit songs and poems.
Poetry lovers who also enjoy American history may delight in reading Gregory Maguire's poetic metaphor about the White House titled "Looking In, Looking Out" and Nikki Grimes' poem about a blind student's visit to the White House titled "Staking Claim." Both are available exclusively on ourwhitehouse.org.
Also be sure to review the diverse poetry included in the printed anthology Our White: Looking In, Looking Out, which is available in libraries and bookstores. Included in the Our White House collection are Jane Yolen's imagined conversation between John and Abigail Adams titled "The White House First Residents," Jack Prelutsky's humorous poem about the Clinton's cat titled "I Live in the White House," Jon Scieszka's rhyme titled "The White House," Lee Bennett Hopkins' poem titled "Good Nights," Kate DiCamillo's touching piece about Lincoln's death titled "In Early April," and Paul B. Janeczko's haunting "Mary Todd Lincoln Speaks of Her Son's Death, 1862."
Learn more about Our White House at ourwhitehouse.org.