April is not only the month of Easter, but it is also a month of poetry. This is the time to celebrate those who wrote their literal and figurative lives on the paper laid out in front of them, or the screen lighting up their face. National Poetry Month is the world’s largest literary celebration today. Poetry is not only encouraged, but it comes alive in this month of rain, sunshine, and the beginnings of spring.
National Poetry Month was founded by the Academy of American Poets (AAP) in the year of 1996. They were inspired by other movements who had their own months, such as Black History Month and Women’s History Month. The leaders of the AAP met with poets, authors, and other experts in the writing field in 1995 to discuss which month and how to impact the world with this information. As people today know, it was determined that April would be the designated and most appropriate month for this theme to be applied to. The AAP believe it was the best time of year and an opportunity to gain maximum participation and attention for poetry.
The AAP and poets participating in this national event had a vision. This vision came to life when their goals were achieved over the years and the public’s participation on a yearly basis. National Poetry Month highlights the legacies and the achievements that American poets have fought so hard to get. The month of April encourages the readings of poems in schools; one of the goals is to reach out to the public and touch as many minds as possible with the powerful and emotional words of the poems. During this month, poetry attention is increased with the help of national and local medias across the country. Poets are interviewed and school competitions occur, and the goal is set. The AAP had a specific idea in mind, and that idea became alive.
The overall theme of April is poetry, yet there are specific days dedicated to certain concepts of poetry. The day of April 19th is specifically chosen and named as Poetry and the Creative Mind. There are different speakers who perform their own work and others who are not poets who talk about the arts. This year, Meryl Streep will be speaking at the New York’s Lincoln Center’s Alive Tully Hall celebration. One more date that is widely participated in is April 27th, also known as Poem in Your Pocket Day. The purpose of this day is to share individuals' favorite poems with as many people as possible. Those who participate will print out a poem and keep it in their pocket throughout the day. If they meet someone, it is an opportune time to take out the poem and share it with that person. There are other days that are dedicated to certain themes in this month, yet these seem to be the most impactful to society.
As it is the month of April, it is only necessary to continue the tradition of spreading poetry. There are several ways to participate in this intellectual practice. Individuals can follow the celebrations, order the posters, and encourage schools to participate in these events. People may also participate in National Poetry Month events or attempt to join the Academy of American Poets themselves. One simple way to do this from any destination in the world is to simply visit the poets.org website. If individuals have an Instagram or Facebook account, they can write a post or post a picture with the hashtag #npm17. If people are fans of Twitter, all they have to do is type and post @POETSorg. There are opportunities to become involved and to spread poetry to others.
National Poetry Month has had power since the day it was created in 1996. Its influence has travelled far and wide around the world. It has touched thousands of lives, and it will continue to do so in the future.
(All information can be found on this site: https://www.poets.org/national-poetry-month/about-celebration)