Beyond National Poetry Month

It is April again, the one month of the year when schools and other institutions care about poetry and invite poets to give readings, lectures, or workshops. About a year ago, I was asked to write something regarding National Poetry Month for the blog/website The Write Life, which is run through the Wilkes University M.F.A. program. An idea for an article came to me after I saw that Oprah had dedicated a whole issue of her magazine, O, to poetry for April, highlighting mostly mainstream poets such as Billy Collins and Mary Oliver. The magazine drew some debate and criticism, including an article written by David Orr for the New York Times. The main point of my article was to weigh the pros and the cons of National Poetry Month and to stress that poets and poetry lovers need to look beyond National Poetry Month in terms of getting people to care about the genre. This involves teaching workshops in the community, sharing work of other poets at readings, and blending poetry with other art genres. The article was first published a year ago, but it is still relevant.

You can check out my article here.  Let me know what you think in terms of looking beyond the month of April and getting people to care about poetry for more than 30 days a year.

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