In his essay, “Can Poetry Matter,” Dana Gioia talks about ways to make poetry readings more accessible. He has a lot of suggestions, including adding music to a reading, combining the literary arts with the visual arts, among other ideas. I’ve tried a lot of these in the past, and they do indeed work as a way to broaden the audience for poetry. He also stresses the importance of sharing poetry other than your own and reading a poem or two by someone else as a way to keep tradition alive.
While thinking about ways to do something different for National Poetry Month, some of my friends and I were approached by The Hoyt Library in Kingston, PA about doing an event for them. So, we decided that we’re going to do a panel/reading. As part of the panel, we’ll read/discuss two or so poems by some of our favorite poets and then share a few of our poems inspired by those poets. This is a way for us to give away and share poets that we love.
So, if you’re in the area and want to celebrate National Poetry Month, then come to the Hoyt! The event will be this Thursday, beginning at 6 p.m. and held in the reading room. The other poets involved are Dawn Leas and Scott Thomas. We’re looking forward to the event and would appreciate a strong turnout to ensure the Hoyt continues having events like this in the future.