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National Poetry Month 2009 Coming Soon!

In this new age of instant messaging, Twitter, Facebook, and places that provide ready made content for all to use, it would seem that poetry would be something that is not made for this sound bite society. All the more reason to pay attention to National Poetry Month coming up in April 2009. Through the website of the Academy of American Poets one can find a plethora of things all related to poetry that they can sink their teeth into.

One great area is the “Tips for Teachers” area that gives school teachers tips on how to get involved in National Poetry Month, along with ways to continue the effort of promoting poetry past April. Some examples from the site include:

Post favorite poems in faculty and staff lounges; or
Organize a poetry contest for teachers and administrators and select students to act as judges; or
Publish student poetry in your school newspaper or magazine, or on your website; or
Decorate the classroom or the school with illustrated poems and pictures of poets; and the list goes on.

Any idea that promotes this wonderful art form in an educational and healthy way should be exercised.

I personally feel an absence of poetry in everyday life, but that could just be me. Barack Obama injected the poetic voice into his inauguration with a poem by Elizabeth Alexander, “Praise Song for the Day.” To be frank, I loved the poem itself, but didn’t like the recitation. I thought she was too jilted in her delivery, and seemed a bit unnaturally hesitant at certain points; almost as if she wrote the poem about 2 minutes before stage time. The poem, as she read it didn’t have any flow or natural bounce (judge for yourself).

In any case the poem itself is powerful and spoke to the moment. The words were very much Barack Obama.

I guess I have to use this poetry month to get back into poetry and explore contemporary poets and see what they are doing. One contemporary poet I do like is Brian McSherry. His first collection, “The Overture Bird,” is really really good. I can safely say that if you spend the money, you won’t be disappointed. He creates scenes that are vivid and lively. His style of writing and the flow of his lines are really unique without being too awkward and hard to grasp. I also think the poems are of a readable length for young poets to get into, but they also give the reader a level of complexity that will allow for hours of discussion and enjoyment. I have a copy, and often go back to it. His next title, “Cyclus,” is coming out soon (hopefully by Fall of this year). I’ll be sure to snag a copy and give a review.

So, let’s get ready for National Poetry Month 2009 coming in April. Happy explorations.

The 2009 National Poetry Month poster, designed by Paul Sahre.

The 2009 National Poetry Month poster, designed by Paul Sahre.

Peace

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