April is National Poetry Month, which is the perfect reason to read, write, and celebrate poetry. I’m a reader, writer, and lover of poetry, but this month I will be taking extra measures to make time for poetry each and every day. Here’s how:
Engage with a poem every morning. I have volumes and volumes of poetry anthologies, collections, and literary journals. Several of these I’ve read and cherished cover to cover, but some of them have been put down and neglected or have simply sat on my shelf collecting dust since I acquired them.
This month, I’m building 10 minutes (more on the weekends) into my morning routine to pick a book and page at random, and read and engage with a poem slowly and thoughtfully. My intent is to start my day with something I truly enjoy. By picking a poem at random, I will undoubtedly be immersed in poems that I’ve loved for years as well as some I’ve never read. I will take the time to annotate the text and spend time with poems I may not otherwise have discovered.
Attend a poetry workshop. I’m fortunate to live in a city that has a monthly poetry workshop meet up. It’s a wonderful opportunity to spend a couple hours with like-minded souls and gain (and provide!) constructive feedback on personal writing projects. I personally find that workshopping a poem can have a tremendous positive impact on the revision process.
Carve out “no nonsense” writing time. Last year I made a resolution to write poetry every single day. I carried out my goal for about 7 months before deciding the strict daily writing regimen wasn’t for me. This month, I’m striving to be more purposeful. Instead of squeezing in a few odd moments each day, I’m going to look at my schedule each week and carve out dedicated writing time where I can work on my poetry without guilt, distraction, or unnecessary stress.
Although I love to write poetry, my schedule has been extremely busy this year and I find myself being drawn away from my writing to focus on other things I feel like I need to be doing (freelance work, household chores, etc). I’m hoping that carving away some “no nonsense” writing time will help me keep on track with my writing goals.
Attend a poetry reading (or 2 or 3). Going to local poetry readings is a great way to see a professional poet in action, ask questions, and get inspired. I’ve been to dozens of readings in the past several years, and I always find myself re-energized after attending a reading. Check your local bookstore, university, or library to see if you have any events in your area.
How are you celebrating National Poetry Month?