Some fun ways to celebrate National Poetry Month:
Write a poem every day in April! Here is my poem for today:
Plucking words from the air as they swoop
Over and around her head in a halo
Eager to find a home,
Write a poem in a format that you have not tried before. (Like the “poetry” acrostic poem that begins and ends with the same letter, above. It was challenging to write, but fun!).
Start a progressive poem, writing one line a day. (See Joy’s posts for this month at www.poetryforkidsjoy.blogspot.com for a wonderful example!)Submit a polished poem for consideration to your favorite literary or children's magazine.
Get to know the current United States Poet Laureate, Natasha Trethewey, at her agency website: http://www.blueflowerarts.com/natasha-trethewey. The Library of Congress also has a site for Ms. Trethewey: http://www.loc.gov/poetry/laureate.html.
Find the current Poet Laureate for your state at: http://www.loc.gov/rr/main/poets/current.html.Volunteer to read aloud at a local school, and take along a good book of poetry to share with the kids. Children *LOVE* to hear poetry read aloud, especially by a special guest speaker. (Shel Silverstein poems are especially fun to read aloud—but there are many other wonderful children’s poets out there to share, as well!)
Visit your closest indie bookstore and invest in a new book of poetry for your personal collection.Host a poetry party for your friends, family, or neighbors; have everyone bring their favorite poem to share during cocktails or dinner.
There are many wonderful contemporary poets! “Discover” a new poet by researching online, and reading some of his or her poetry. The new poems of today will be the classics of tomorrow!Revisit your favorite poems—like good old friends, you will be glad to see them.
Some fun ideas for kids:
Write a poem on your sidewalk or driveway using sidewalk chalk.Take a nature walk and bring along a notepad and pencil. See what kind of poem you come up with!
Research a “new to you” poet on the internet, and read one of his or her poems.Write a shape poem, using colored pencils to make your words really POP!
Play this game with friends: Sit in a circle. Pick a person to go first, and ask that person to “write” the first line of a poem aloud. The second person in the circle adds his or her own line, and so forth, until everyone in the circle has had a turn. You can write down your group poem, or simply enjoy it aloud!Write new song lyrics to a familiar tune, or make up your own tune. (Remember, song lyrics are a form of poetry!)
Write a poem for a special teacher, friend, or family member. The best gifts are the ones YOU create!Write a poem about your favorite game (my boys are working on one about Minecraft!).
Make a cookie cake and write a short poem on it with decorator’s icing. Then have a yummy Poetry Party!Most important of all—HAVE FUN WITH POETRY!
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Here is the 2013 National Poetry Month Poster from www.poets.org, who founded National Poetry Month in 1996.
Jessica Helfand designed this poster, and sponsors include: American Booksellers Association, American Library Association, Dixon Ticonderoga, EBSCO, The New York Times, National Council of Teachers of English, Merriam-Webster, Poetry Foundation, Random House, and Scholastic.
The 2013 poster features the line "Write about your sorrows, your wishes, your passing thoughts, your belief in anything beautiful," from Rainer Maria Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet.
You can order copies of this poster and the posters from previous years at www.poets.org.
HAPPY NATIONAL POETRY MONTH!