April is National Poetry Month and celebrating is as simple as ABC

April is National Poetry Month, and you don't have to be a student or current poetry lover to celebrate or get to know this art form. Celebrating is as easy as checking Twitter or signing up for a poem-a-day.

April has been National Poetry Month since 1996 (stock image).
April has been National Poetry Month since 1996 (stock image).  © 123rf/ timhester

The founders of National Poetry Month, the Academy of American Poets, were inspired to establish a month dedicated to poetry because of the "successful celebrations of Black History Month (February) and Women's History Month (March)," according to their website.

April became National Poetry Month in 1996. That makes 2022 the 26th year of celebration.

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The goal of the month is to put the art form of poetry into the spotlight, as well as highlight American poets, encourage the reading of poetry, and bring poetry to the classroom. That's why many an English teacher turns their attention to poetry in April.

But you don't need to be a student, a poet, or even familiar with poetry to celebrate this month. You can even celebrate on social media, with a newsletter, or a podcast.

If you're new to poetry, there is no reason to fret! The month is also about getting to know the stuff.

Ways to celebrate

Don't have a favorite poem? Then see if you can find one this April (stock image).
Don't have a favorite poem? Then see if you can find one this April (stock image).  © 123rf/ pixelsaway

There are tons of ways to celebrate on social media.

You could follow the hashtag #NationalPoetryMonth, as the Academy of American Poets suggests in their list of 30 ways to celebrate.

Under #NationalPoetryMonth Friday morning, some Twitter users said they were going to celebrate by writing a poem every day in April. They encouraged others to do the same.

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If writing a poem a day seems a bit daunting, the Academy recommends signing up for their Poem-a-Day and getting a daily dose of contemporary poetry in your inbox instead. The poems are chosen by a guest editor, and this month's is award-winning poet Naomi Shihab Nye. If you'd prefer to listen, you can subscribe to Poem-a-Day podcast.

Another way to celebrate on or offline is to take part in the Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 29. Simply share your favorite poem with the hashtag #PocketPoem. You can also be old school and share the poem that you pocket on the day with friends. Don't have a favorite poem? Don't worry. You can print and pocket one from the foundation's website.

Checking out your local library or bookstore is also a great way to celebrate. Ask a librarian for a poetry suggestion, or flip through and see what you can find. The New York Public Library even has poetry postcards for spring.

April is the perfect time to let yourself grow a bit and explore a new art form – and perhaps even find a new love of words.

Cover photo: 123rf/ timhester

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