April is National Poetry Month, a celebration of poetry around the world. National Poetry Month began in 1996 with the Academy of American Poets, who wanted to encourage reading poetry in the United States. The celebration quickly spread worldwide through poets, publishers, libraries, bookstores, and families. Read on for ways to enjoy National Poetry Month!
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10 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month
Wall of poems: Hang up colored pieces of paper, one for each day of the month. Then, print out and paste one poem on the wall each day. Take turns choosing the poem of the day. By the end of the month, you’ll have an entire wall filled with some of the family’s favorite poems. Get inspiration from this post from the Smithville Elementary Library.
Refrigerator magnet poetry: This month, grab a packet of word fridge magnets and explore different combinations of lines, words, and sounds! This is a great way to add some creativity to your kitchen. For more ideas and places to buy magnet poetry, check out this post from Poetry Teatime.
Poetry treasure hunt: Go on a hunt to find poetry in the oddest of places. Collect bits of words from magazines, newspapers, or even by writing down snippets of TV ads, pieces of conversation, or billboards you pass on the freeway. Then, arrange the words you’ve found into a poem. You can find poetry everywhere! For some help collecting found poetry, take a look at this post on Poetry Teatime.
Sidewalk poetry: Grab some chalk and a slice of sidewalk, and get to work with creating sidewalk poetry! Check out some ideas for transforming your sidewalks into poetic works of art with this post from Poetry Teatime!
Carry a poem in your pocket: Did you know that April 26 is Carry a Poem in Your Pocket Day? To celebrate, pick one of your favorite poems and write or print it on a small piece of paper. Fold that paper and put it in your pocket. Make sure to share your poem with people you see throughout the day! For more inspiration, check out the Poem in Your Pocket page on Poets.org.
Read a verse novel: A verse novel is a novel-length story written using poems. We love verse novels like The Crossover by Kwame Alexander (see our interview with him here)! For some great suggestions for verse novels to get started, check out this list from Kirkus Reviews.
Memorize a poem: Memorizing a poem keeps the poem close to you forever. It’s also one of the most powerful ways to make language a part of your life. Try writing it out for copywork, hanging it up on a bathroom mirror or by the kitchen sink, and reading it out loud repeatedly until it starts to stick!
Write to one of your favorite (living) poets: Often, poets will have an address you can send mail to! Think of what you’d like them to know--is there something in their work that you especially admire? How has their work changed the way you view the world? Is there anything you’d love to see them write a poem about? For a specific prompt to write to the poets in charge of National Poetry Month, check out the “Dear Poet” project at Poets.org.
Give someone the gift of a poem: A poem is one of the most special gifts you can give someone. Pick a poem you think they would like, then write it out using fun pens on nice paper or type it up with a fancy font and print it out. Wrap it in a ribbon and give it to someone to make their day special!
For more ideas on what to do during National Poetry Month, check out 30 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month from Poets.org.