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April Is the Cruelest Month, but It’s Still Poetry Month

Even though we can’t be together right now, we can still celebrate poetry together, wherever we are!

April is National Poetry Month, and usually, venues across North Carolina are filled with poets and lovers of poetry, celebrating the written word at events and readings all month long.

This year, National Poetry Month is necessarily going to look a little different, but there are still plenty of ways for us to take the time to appreciate the odists, bards, and rhapsodists both living and dead.

National Poetry Month was launched by the Academy of American Poets in April 1996 to remind the public that poets have an integral role to play in our culture and that poetry matters. They offer thirty ways to celebrate National Poetry Month online and at home.

Some of us are facing the daunting task of having students home all the time right now; The Poetry Foundation has an online resource page for learners of all levels.

You also can listen to poetry and poetry podcasts through The Poetry Foundation.

Orion Magazine offers five poems for National Poetry Month.

On select Thursdays in April, you can join Redheaded Stepchild and Malaika Albrecht for online poetry book launches:

  • 4/2: Eric Helms
  • 4/9: Christopher Davis
  • 4/16: Malaika Albrecht

Michael Gaspeny will launch his new poetry collection, The Tyranny of Questions, virtually through an event hosted by Scuppernong Books on April 15.

You can sign up to receive a poem a day in your e-mail inbox.

Feel like you’ve never been able to get into poetry, or are you feeling like maybe it’s just too much work right now? NPR offers five tips for “How to Get into Poetry.”

Circle April 30 on the calendar: that’s “Poem in Your Pocket Day” where everyone is encouraged to carry a poem around with them to share at schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, street corners, and on social media using the hashtag #pocketpoem.

The North Carolina Poetry Society will celebrate North Carolina’s “literary godfather,” Sam Ragan, in an online incarnation of Sam Ragan Day on May 9. Ragan was twice nominated for the Pulitzer; a former NC Poet Laureate; and an inductee (and founder) of the NC Literary Hall of Fame. Full details in the most-recent e-newsletter from NCPS, which you can read for free here.

In short, there are many ways to celebrate this month both alone and with your community of poets. Enjoy.