April is National Poetry Awareness
April is the month of the year when our attention is grabbed by a celebration which counts its 20th anniversary. The National Poetry Month was inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996 and has served ever since as an opportunity for writers, reader, and critics to share their opinions and visions. We can see the National Poetry Month as an acknowledgement of the crucial role poetry had and still has in our world.
It is important to understand the mission of this awareness movement, as it stays a bit aside from having a festive language. Unfortunately, the written art, and this includes poetry, is suffering from a chronically condition. Over the course of the last decades, the public has experienced a severe decrease of appetite for poetry. Expressing your feeling in verses is no longer keeping up the pace with the profound changes that are marking our environment from a social point of view.
Although poetry has adapted to the online environment, and it is currently using it as a mean of propagation, the Internet has done a lot of harm in promoting shallower forms of entertainment. It’s enough to dig into what search engines are reporting as the most popular inquiries in order to see that poetry is reserved a niche which is becoming thinner and thinner. The last century has definitely put poetry in the box of memories for many of us. We can only ask “When is the last time you read a poem?”
Leaving a bit behind this somber tone, poetry is still doing well inside the communities that cherish its importance and role in educating. Book clubs still thrive and it just a matter of giving the act of reading a new marketing spin in order to make it happen. As we are close to saying goodbye to the printed paper, poetry found a warm refuge in the digital format. Easier to carry with you and easier to share, poetry will certainly survive and will be enjoyed for a long time to come. We are still far from the dystopian reality of “Fahrenheit 451”. Either we are talking about your personal computers, smartphones, or e-book readers; there will always be the resource to open some bytes of poetry.
We are happy to affirm that National Poetry Month has become the largest literary celebration in the world, with schools, publishers, libraries, and booksellers, joining the collective effort to make poetry a priority again. The celebration can also be seen as remainder of the poet’s role in our culture. There are many ways in which National Poetry Month can be enjoyed and the activity largely depends on the individuals or groups you are trying to engage.
You can help the awareness movement in your local community by putting informative posters, distributing leaflets, or just by talking one-on-one with friends, relatives, and any person you can access via your social circles. You might have a harder time finding people ready to join the raising awareness movement, mostly because there is no emotional string attached. Most awareness movements we have introduced here militate for a health related cause which helps prevent the spread of suffering, and which can be directly perceived by the audience you are addressing to.
This edition of National Poetry Month introduced a new multimedia education project called “Dear Poet”. Like we highlighted earlier, poetry can only benefit for our capacity to communicate better via de online environment. The project wants to engage young readers (grades five to twelve) to write letters to their favorite poets. The best letters will receive a personalized and authentic response from that poet. All sent letters will be published on the website Poets.org, giving anyone the needed exposure. The initiative is backed by the Academy of American Poets and also reaches to teachers for help and involvement.
There are many ways in which a personal previously not attached to poetry can help the effort. Buying a book of poetry from your local bookstore can be an excellent first step. If you posses enough courage and the slimmest form of talent, writing your very own poem and making it public to friends, family, or even the world, can be one of the most rewarding experience imaginable.