April is National Poetry Month, four weeks dedicated to the celebration of verse.
How are you going to enjoy the occasion? Try one of these poetry readings, projects, or resources. Whether you want to hear great poets share their work aloud or embark on a writing venture of your own, you’ll find dozens of links to help you gain a better understanding of poetry.
– Get started by checking out “How to Read a Poem.”
– Read “Introduction to Poetry” for a poetic look at how to understand verse.
– Memorize a favorite poem.
– Read a new poem each day, all month long, from the New York Review of Books.
– Check out the poet.org collection of 2,500+ poems on your mobile device.
– Instead of a greeting card, mail a poem to a friend.
– Join the Poetry Group on Twitter.
– Treat yourself to a new book of poetry (or, check one out at the library).
– Participate in the Free Verse Project. Write a poem using unexpected materials (On a balloon? With bath crayons? With ketchup?)
– Receive a daily Poets.org poem in your email, all month long.
– Join the NoPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) project, and write poem every day for the next 30 days.
– Throw a poetry party. Stay up late sharing your favorite poems with friends.
– Read a previously unpublished verse from a different poet for 30 days on Gotta Book.
– Read a poem aloud at a local open mic night.
– Read 36 interviews with published poets.
– Attend a poetry slam event.
– Study the lyrics of your favorite songs looking for literary devices used in poetry (metaphors, alliteration, etc.)
– Slip a poem into someone’s lunchbox.
– Start a poetry journal. Collect verses you love or write your own.
– Using a magazine, cut out words that catch your eye. Use them to create a poetry collage.
– Create a poetry / photography blog. Include a photo and corresponding poem for each post. (Some people do this on Flickr).
– Write a limerick for a child.
– Read almost 200 modern, accessible poems on Billy Collin’s site Poetry 180.
– Write a romance poem for someone you love.
– Turn your shopping lists and to-do lists into list poems.
– Publish a haiku on Twitter.
– Use chalk to write a poem on the sidewalk.
– Write an ode to the IRS on the 15th. Consider mailing it, but don’t.
– Set a poem as your email signature.
– Start a commonplace book to keep your favorite poems.
– Write a group poem by playing Exquisite Corpse.
– Read a famous poem every day of the month from Knopf Double Day’s poetry page.
– Browse Flickr to find visual poetry prompts that inspire you.
– Take the free online poetry workshops from The Guardian.
– Find new poets on Got Poetry?
– Listen to modern poets reading their work by subscribing to the Poetic Voice podcast.
– Listen to lectures and poem readings from the University of Chicago’s Poem Present.
– Stream Classic Poetry Aloud from your computer.
– Write a confessional poem on a postcard and send it to PostSecret.
– Read sarcastic poems about politicians on the Political Verses blog.
– Use the Poetry Archive to explore poems by theme.
– Submit a poem to a literary magazine.
– Subscribe to Poetry Magazine or check out recent issues at the library.
– Listen to poetic podcasts from The Poetry Foundation.
– Watch Americans share their favorite poems on the Favorite Poem Project videos.
– Submit a verse to a poetry contest.
– Listen to historic recordings of famous poets from the Poetry Archive.
– Check out contemporary poems on Poetry Daily.
– Subscribe to Poets & Writers Magazine. Or, check out recent issues at the library.
– Browse through poetry anthologies on Bartleby.
– Write silly verses using the Online Rhyming Dictionary.
– Listen to poetic discussions on National Public Radio (NPR).
– Play with virtual fridge poetry.
– Explore the Poetry Bookshelf from Project Gutenberg.
– Read Where the Sidewalk Ends. Even if you’re a grown-up.
– Look for Poetry in Motion verses on a public bus or subway system near you.
– Explore performance poetry on YouTube.
– Take a look at visual poetry on BBC’s Poetry on Display.
– Watch poetry videos from e-poets.
– Watch famous modern poets read their works from Bill Moyer’s Fooling with Words documentary.
– Write a bio poem. If it’s really good, consider putting it on your business card. (Or not.)
– Check out poetry from around the nation on the United States of Poetry.
– Buy several Dover Thrift Edition books of poetry. Give them away as gifts.
– Watch short clips of amazing poetry readings on Poetry Matters Now.
– Learn about 13 of America’s most famous poets from Annenberg Media’s collection of works and audio readings.
– Create a found poem from photographs of words.
– Read a book of poetry aloud with a friend or loved one.
– Write a poem about an everyday object (a cereal box, a chair, a brush).
– Leave a poem where someone will find it – in a library book, on a public bulletin board, on a classroom white board.
– Check out the 100 Best Poems of All Time from your library.
– Annotate a book of poetry with your thoughts, feelings, and ideas.
– Add some inspiration to your poetry writing by following the exercises from In the Palm of Your Hand: The Poet’s Portable Workshop.
– Make a list of your most loved poems.
– Make a list of your most hated poems.
– Review a book of poetry on Amazon or a similar site.
– Listen to famous poems in your car by putting in the CDs from Poetry Speaks.
– Volunteer at a poetry event in your area. If there isn’t one, start planning an event for next year.
– Hear poets speak on American Public Media’s Poetry Radio Project.
– Watch a weekly poetry reading on Poetryvlog.
– Submit 30 poems through the Writer’s Digest Poem-a-Day Challenge.
– Write a poem on a cake. Give it away.
– Write a cento, a poem that includes only lines from other poems.
– Become familiar with poetic forms.
– Share love poems with your significant other.
– Learn how to analyze a poem with poetic devices.
– Sign up for a local poetry class via a community education program.
– Write a letter to your favorite living poet.
– Read all the poems written by William Shakespeare.
– Take the month to tackle The Odyssey, an epic poem.
– Explore the bios of famous poets and choose someone with a story that catches your eye. Read their collected works.
– Make a poem out of clippings from an old phone book.
– Explore beatnik poetry.
– Explore the Periodic Table of Poetry.
– Groan about Very Bad Poetry.
– Write poetry madlibs and share with your friends.
– Visit an art museum to find poetic inspiration. Choose a painting / photograph and write a verse about it.
– Write a poem about a memorable experience with a parent or grandparent. Mail it to them.
– Turn a goal into a poem. Put it somewhere you’ll look every day.
– Share how you’re going to celebrate national poetry month in the comments below.