By: Lisa Breininger
“A poem is never finished, only abandoned.”
– Paul Valery
“Poetry is the opening and closing of a door,
leaving those who look through
to guess about what is seen during the moment.”
– Carl Sandburg
“If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me,
I know that is poetry”. - Emily Dickinson
National Poetry Month started in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets. Since that time the Academy has brought in poets, arts organizations, educational leaders, sponsors, government agencies and officials, and publishers.
April was chosen as National Poetry Month so poetry could be celebrated to the highest level.
Try writing a poem each day throughout the month or even two. Try reading poetry either from your favorite poet or someone new.
Poets.org (from the Academy of American Poets) has created a list of thirty ways to get started with poetry, some of which include:
- Putting a poem on the pavement – write a poem in chalk
- Organize a poetry reading – maybe in a Library, Coffee shop, Art gallery
- Start a commonplace book – copy your favorite quotes into a notebook
- Integrate poetry with technology – Under your automated signature put a quote
- Read a poem at an open mic – get way to meet other writers
Here at Kutztown University, the Professional Writing Department holds a Shoofly reading where students can read their poetry and/or listen to student poets. Also, Dr. Heather Thomas, who is also a published poet, teaches a creative writing class in poetry. Some of the other Kutztown University faculty who are published poets include: Dr. Michael Downing, Professor Andrew Vogel, Professor Colleen Clemens, and Professor Lily Corwin.
During some part of your schooling you most likely have read some poetry. Here are some poets you may have heard of and some you might not have heard of before.
- Shel Silverstein
- Walt Whitman
- Alice Walker
- Anne Sexton
- Carl Sandburg
- Adrienne Rich
- William Shakespeare
- Sylvia Plath
- Dr. Suess
Check out this year’s National Poetry Month poster at the Academy of American Poets website. Check back with our blog throughout the month for more information about poetry and poets.