Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month
from and the Academy of American Poets

So, what will you to do celebrate National Poetry Month?

Celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day. The idea is simple: select a poem you love, carry it with you, then share it with co-workers, family, and friends.

Read a book of poetry. Poetry is a response to the daily necessity of getting the world right.

Memorize a poem. Getting a poem or prose passage truly ‘by heart’ implies getting it by mind and memory and understanding and delight.

Put poetry in an unexpected place. Books should be brought to the doorstep like electricity, or like milk in England: they should be considered utilities.

Attend a poetry reading. Readings have been occurring for decades around the world in universities, bookstores, cafes, corner pubs, and coffeehouses.

Read a poem at an open mic. It’s a great way to meet other writers in your area and find out about your local writing community.

Listen on your commute. Often, hearing an author read their own work can clarify questions surrounding their work’s tone.

Subscribe to a literary magazine. Full of surprising and challenging poetry, short fiction, interviews, and reviews, literary journals are at the forefront of contemporary poetry.

Put a poem in a letter. It’s always a treat to get a letter, but finding a poem in the envelope makes the experience extra special.

Put a poem on the pavement. Go one step beyond hopscotch squares and write a poem in chalk on your sidewalk.

Recite a poem to family and friends. You can use holidays or birthdays as an opportunity to celebrate with a poem that is dear to you, or one that reminds you of the season.

Start a poetry reading group. Select books that would engage discussion and not intimidate the reader new to poetry.

Buy a book of poems for your library. Many libraries have undergone or are facing severe cuts in funding. These cuts are often made manifest on library shelves.

Start a commonplace book. Since the Renaissance, devoted readers have been copying their favorite poems and quotations into notebooks to form their own personal anthologies called commonplace books.

Integrate poetry with technology. Many email programs allow you to create personalized signatures that are automatically added to the end of every email you send.

Sign up for a poetry class or workshop. Colleges and arts centers often make individual courses in literature and writing available to the general public.

Visit a poetry landmark. Visiting physical spaces associated with a favorite writer is a memorable way to pay homage to their life and work.


  1. Ooooooo I want to do all of the above, if only. I’m currently between the pages of Raymond Carver, Heaney, the anthology Rattle Bag and Lochheads A choosing…. Poetry rocks!!

  2. Reblogged this on currankentucky and commented:
    Wonderful food for thought below… my nose is currently between pages of Raymond Carver, Liz Lochhead and Heaney… where’s yours?

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