4 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month
Happy National Poetry Month! This year marks the 26th anniversary of the month-long celebration, and this April is as important as ever. As we collectively cope with the stress of compounding societal changes, incorporating poetry into our lives can help us feel more creative and grounded while allowing us to better understand the world around us. Here are four ways to celebrate National Poetry Month this year:
Support marginalized poets
National Poetry Month is an important time to shine a spotlight on marginalized poets. Share poets’ work on social media or in-person, and—if you’re financially able to—purchase their books. Centering BIPOC, women, LGBTQIA+, and disabled poets makes more space in the modern poetry world, encouraging aspiring poets of all backgrounds to share their own work or pursue a writing career.
Attend a spoken word event
As many of us begin to comfortably gather in public spaces again, attending a live, spoken word event in your area is a great opportunity to support local or visiting poets. Watching spoken word performances in person is a powerful way to connect with poetry that can’t be reached simply through reading. Consider sharing your experience on social media to help poets expand their audiences. Check with your local independent bookstores, colleges and universities, and museums for events!
Start a poetry book club
Organize a poetry book club with a few friends! Build community with like-minded folks by meeting in person or on Zoom once a week, biweekly, or monthly. Plus, if you’re in a reading rut, this will provide you with some inspiration and accountability.
Encourage the group to take some notes on poems they feel most drawn to. By discussing poetry with others, you might gain another perspective on the work that you didn’t originally consider.
Not sure where to start? Check out recently released modern poetry books like Unraveling by Brandon Leake and Unlock Your Storybook Heart by Amanda Lovelace.
Write a poem every day
This April can serve as an opportunity to build a self-care routine around poetry. Like journaling, writing poetry is a cathartic outlet. Free write a poem every day or search for prompts online. Depending on your preference, you might buy a journal specifically for this practice, create a folder in your notes app, or download a writing app. Work on finding a time that works for you: Whether you write in the morning, on your lunch break, or in the evening, writing poems—no matter how long, short, or imperfect they are—can help you creatively process your emotions and life experiences. Taking time out of your day to prioritize mental health can lead to positive, tangible change in your life.
Throughout history, people have found comfort and creativity in reading, writing, and listening to poetry. Whether you’re using this month as an opportunity to support yourself or others, there are so many ways to appreciate poetry this and every month.