Friday, March 31, 2006

On the eve of construction: Poetry Month begins

It’s about to begin, that month when poets and media intellectually couple to celebrate poetry month. As I’ve said before, the celebration has its naysayers. But personally, I like the fact that my favorite genre struts to center stage.

Activities are as diverse as the poets. Poet Jayne Jaudon Ferrer does a special newsletter celebration. She selects a poem for each day in April and emails it. Last year’s poems arrived in my inbox daily, and I enjoyed every one of them. She favors diversity in her selections, and there’s never a dull poem. Jayne will happily add you to the list for free; to get the newsletter, visit her signup page.

I received an email today from Poetry Daily, a special edition of the regular newsletter. PD selects 20 past featured poets to select poems to be delivered to you each weekday in April. PD leans towards university presses and MFA style, but many of the poems will certainly be pleasurable. Visit the PD site for more info.

As always, the Academy of American Poets who founded National Poetry Month in 1996, will have a variety of events and abundance of information on their Net site. The Academy is a veritable bastion for the purest form of writing, leaning towards poets established within the Northeastern literary network (Southerners are of course included if they pass the smell test). It’s a great resource; visit the Academy page .

Do visit the feature I’m writing and coordinating at The Writer. Just announced: the scoop on guidelines for an opportunity to read at the Library of Congress. I talked with Patricia Gray, coordinator of Poetry at Noon for the LOC, and the woman has a vision poets can help bring to fruition. Read more at The Writer online.

In Jacksonville, Peter Meinke arrives April 8 at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts for a top quality writers’ festival. Adult members from the community can attend; the fee is so low it’s almost silly. To learn more, visit DASOTA Net pages.

My first NPM event is with poetry compatriot Dorothy Fletcher. Dorothy set up a program with Starbucks, “Authors at Starbucks.” She and I do free workshops and assorted readings there—Starbucks devotes a lot of resources to literacy and treats authors incredibly well. We’ll read and do a workshop (sponsored in part by the National League of American Pen Women, Jacksonville) on Sunday, April 9 from 1-3 p.m. Poetry Café, as we tagged it, will be held at Starbucks Coffee Company in Lakewood Plaza, corner of San Jose and University, in Jacksonville. For a full description, visit the writers’ resource site I edit.

Otherwise, I’m speaking to a variety of groups during April and I’ll do my special poem for the month as always. I’ll have the poem up on my Net site soon.

Another small treat for you: I’ll feature a top poetry site link at the end of each April column.

So do poetry a favor. Grab the nearest willing ear and pull it along to a poetry event. Buy a book published by a small press. Stand on a street corner and recite “Howl.” Or read something racy by Sharon Olds at your next club meeting.

It’s all good.

Recommended poetry link: Ron Silliman
Why? Because nobody does poetry better. Or more extensively.

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