Celebrate National Poetry Month

Samantha Ysaguirre, Staff Writer

The special occasion to celebrate poetry is the month of April. It is the most prominent literary celebration in the world. Its creation encourages the reading, teaching, and artistry of poetry. To those outside the culture of poetry, it introduces it to them. One value it brings is the ability to express emotion healthily, especially for individuals who struggle to grasp or put their feelings into words. You can have a safe space through poetry and connect with others who may feel the same way. Through that connection, relationships can build and enrich one’s life.

Three ways to celebrate this National Poetry Month include: 

  1. Buying a poetry book and setting aside time to read it
  2. Attending a poetry reading
  3. Joining a club devoted to the topic of poetry

The Student Poetry Society is a student organization accessible to all students dedicated to celebrating poetry. Their weekly meetings are at 4:30 p.m. on Mondays in the McKinney Humanities Building (MH 3.04.12).

Another way of sharing poetry is to submit yours to The Paisano. The Paisano publishes students’ submitted poetry. NPR also accepts submissions of poetry through social media. They read a few submitted poems each year and select a notable poet to celebrate the month with. NPR’s celebration this month is with Poet Franny Choi. She is an award winner of the author of the collection “The World keeps ending, and the World goes on.” Readers can view the full interview online at the NPR website, falling under the “Author Interviews” category. Interviewer Scott Detrow discussed with Choi how things changed for her career since her last visit and the process of writing her book. 

Furthermore, there is also The Poetry Foundation, which offers an accessible and exciting array of poetry events and literary program celebrations. One is that the foundation will distribute fifty thousand copies of “Poetry” in April 2023 to reading groups and classrooms worldwide in honor of the month. Readers can access a free PDF version of their April issue from 2017. It features a signature mix of established and upcoming poets worldwide, such as Amy Beeder and Alison C. Rollins. In the digital version, you will find a reading list of those who contributed to the edition and a special section from the previous editor Henry Rago. 

As for further access, the Poetic Foundation even has a podcast called “The Poetry Magazine Podcast.” Their latest episode, which can be found on their website poetryfoundation.org, is titled “Arthur Sze and Forrest Gander on Silence, the Importance of Blank Pages, and How Every Poem Written Shines a Light on Every Other Poem.” The podcast covers this April’s poetry issue and its celebration with the 2022 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize recipients, which has been awarded to one poet in previous years. 

This year, in honor of the 110th anniversary of the magazine, eleven poets were selected, a gesture to the eleven decades since the magazine’s establishment. This month they cover one of the winners, Arthur Sze, who has written poetry for over fifty years and has published 11 poetry books. His most recent is “The Glass Constellation: New and Collected Poems.” In addition, the podcast invites Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Forrest Gander to speak with Sze. 

Nonetheless, there are numerous ways to celebrate the month of poetry. Whether on campus or in your city, there are unique ways to build self-expression and connect with others. So keep an open mind and do not limit yourself to feelings or words because beautiful things can happen with the art of poetry.