Monday, March 21, 2011

Prepare for National Poetry Month!

Hard to believe that April is just around the corner. If it's April, it must be National Poetry Month. What are you doing to prepare?

Kelli Russell Agodon has just announced that she will again be spearheading a book give-away for National Poetry Month, and she invites us all to participate--details are here. Basically, you promise to give away 2 books of poetry at the end of the month to everyone who leaves a comment at your blog post saying that they want to be entered into a random drawing. They have to be books you love, not just books you want to get rid of. I did this last year, and I'll likely do it again this year.

Dave Bonta plans to read a volume of poetry each day of April this year, just as he did last year, and post a daily review. I admire his stamina, but don't want to set myself up for failure that way. I wrote and asked if we could do a lite version, like a book a week. He agreed (although he will also continue with his original book-a-day plan), and we came up with a list. So, if you're like me and you love knowing that you're reading a book and other people in the universe are reading too, here's the list and the timeline:

week of April 4: Diane Lockward's Temptation by Water
week of April 11: Luisa Igloria's Trill and Mordent
week of April 18: Ren Powell's Mercy Island
week of April 25: William Trowbridge's Ship of Fool

You still have time to order, whether from your library or your bookstore.

Many poets across the country and the globe will write a poem a day. I've attempted this for the past 2 years now. The first year I actually did it. The second year, I managed about 20 days. I like doing it because it reminds me that I often waste time waiting for perfect circumstances or for inspiration. I must be honest though: I don't think I generate that many more poems that are successful in a given month, whether I force myself to write every day or take my usual approach.

I realize that we could get into an interesting conversation here about how I'm defining successful. So, let me confess: many days, as the day was winding down, and I remembered that I hadn't written my poem for the day, I'd dash off a haiku. I have no desire to be a haiku writer, but I wrote a haiku about a third of the days.

No, I will probably put together a few poetry readings and create some more poetry book trailers and continue trying to promote my forthcoming chapbook. It won't be every National Poetry Month that I have a book to promote. So, book promotion and larger promotion of the poetry world will be the way I celebrate this year.


Sandy Longhorn said...

Who picked April? Seriously? It's just about the worst month to do this, as it means nearing the end of the semester, which means grading research essays and final exams and all kinds of school events that we try to cram into the last weeks when we realize the academic year is nearly over.

A poem a day??? Hah! I will be lucky if I maintain my poem a week.

Still, I'm glad to have the focus on poetry for an entire month. The short story writers are on the losing end of this one!

Kathleen said...

Your own plans sound great! I'll be participating in some of these. Will try to do a poem a day, and I also assign this to my workshop. Will try the intense reading, too, but probably not all the same books, just some I have already waiting.

As Sandy says, it is a very busy month, including out-of-town commitments for me, so I will have to juggle!

Kristin Berkey-Abbott said...

I agree with you both about the business of the month--although the older I get, the more every month seems busy.

I might prefer January as National Poetry Month--not quite as hectic, and it would give me something to look forward to after Christmas.

Alas, no one consulted me--so April it is! Good luck to us all.

Diane Lockward said...

How exciting to lead off your month! Thanks.

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