This April, celebrate the 20th National Poetry Month! National Poetry Month began in 1996 as an effort by the Academy of American Poets to promote poetry across America. Today, it is the most widely celebrated literary festival in the world, with everyone from publishers to poets, libraries, families, bookstores, and schools joining in the celebration. Check out the information on this page to get started.
Celebrate Poem-in-Your-Pocket Day.
On April 21, 2016, carry a copy of your favorite poem in your pocket wherever you go. Share it throughout the day with family, friends, your local library, or online with the hashtag #pocketpoem. You can even carry around copies of poems for other people to put in their pockets. For more ideas, check out Bobbi Katz’s book, Pocket Poems (affiliate link).
Write a letter to your favorite poet.
Find the website of your favorite (living) poet and look for a “contact me” page. Usually, poets will include an email address, mailing address, or other contact information. Sometimes, you may need to send your letter to the publisher to be forwarded to the poet.
Participate in the Poets.org “Dear Poet” Project.
Watch the videos of poets reading their poetry featured on this page, and then write a letter in response and send it to the address given. All letters will be considered for publication, and some of the letters will receive replies!
Memorize a favorite poem.
Pick one of your favorite poems and try memorizing it in the month of April. Write it out for copywork and read it aloud to yourself many times--ten in one sitting is a good starting point. Post copies of the poem around the house in places that you frequently see. Right above your kitchen sink is one of the best places, since you can work on memorizing poetry while washing dishes!
Read a poem a day.
For example, read a poem during breakfast or right before dessert at dinner, and take turns having each family member pick a poem. If you’re feeling brave, write a poem every day this month and share with family and friends.
Write a poem in sidewalk chalk.
Pick a poem and share it with the world! Grab some sidewalk chalk and write your poem for all to enjoy. On your driveway or the sidewalk by the curb. You might even add illustrations. Just be sure to check first if any laws apply (not all sidewalk chalking is legal).
Spread the Poetry Teatime love.
Use your family’s poetry teatimes this month to encourage others to read poetry. Invite friends and relatives to join your poetry teatime, or get together with a group of families for an extended teatime celebration. If you have a blog or use social media, consider writing a post or featuring pictures of your family enjoying a poetry teatime. While you’re at it, be sure to send us your pictures and stories, too!
Need more inspiration?
Here are some other ideas for how to celebrate National Poetry Month: 30 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month.