“Poetry is a deal of joy and pain and wonder, with a dash of the dictionary” – Khalil Gibran
We’re a few days into April, and you may have noticed the hashtag #NationalPoetryMonth on your favourite social platforms. As the name indicates, it’s a month dedicated to poetry, but what’s the story behind it and what is it actually about?
If you’re not quite familiar with the month-long event and want to know more, do keep reading. 3 minutes from now, you’ll be a National Poetry Month expert!
In just 6 short bullet points, I’ll sum up everything you need to know, so you can get the most out of this fantastic event.
National Poetry Month is said to be the largest literary celebration in the world with millions of participants every year.
National Poetry Month was founded by the Academy of American Poets, and participants include everyone from students, teachers, librarians and booksellers to literary events curators, publishers, bloggers, readers and, of course, poets!
The short answer as to why this event was founded is simply: to celebrate poetry. The slightly longer answer is that the Academy of American Poets wanted to:
- highlight the legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets.
- encourage the reading of poems.
- help teachers bring poetry into their classrooms.
- increase media coverage for poetry.
- encourage publication and distribution of more poetry books.
- encourage support for poets and poetry.
The event started in 1996 and is held every year throughout April.
As this thing was founded in America, the focus is aimed at Americans and most of the events are held in the US. However, over the years the event has spread to the rest of the world (thanks, social media!), and people from all corners of the globe have started to engage with this. If you (like me) don’t live in the states, there are still plenty of ways to participate.
If you want to know how you can participate in this event, the Academy of American Poets has no less than 30 suggestions listed on the National Poetry Month website!
The cool NPM poster for 2017 by Maira Kalman
And there you go! You now know (more or less) all the important stuff there is to know about this event. If you want to delve deeper into this, you can find more information about National Poetry Month on this page.
Have you already participated in National Poetry Month or do you want to?