There is so much to explore during Poetry Month and all year long at Poets.org. It is a comprehensive poetry site run by the nonprofit organization Academy of American Poets, whose goal is “to support American poets at all stages of their careers and to foster the appreciation of contemporary poetry.” The following is a brief list of some of the valuable activities, events, and features you will find.
Poem in Your Pocket Day
Poem in Your Pocket Day is April 18th! This simple idea started in 2002 in NYC, and now has spread across America. All you have to do is pick your favorite poem, (or write one) and share it on April 18th, with your co-workers, with your friends on lunch break at school, in your emails, or singing from a park bench. It’s up to you how you share it, but keep it in your pocket and share!
Other ways to share your poem… text it, write it on your business card, or post pocket-sized verses on post-it notes in public places. You can even find poems about pockets at Poets.org.
Poets.org has an extensive online database of poems and poets. As you browse or search for poetry, you can then create your own poetry Notebooks- online folders of all your favorite poems. You can create numerous notebooks, organize poems however you like, and share on social media. You can also browse other people’s notebook collections and discover new works.
Dear Poet Project
The Dear Poet Project is a way to connect young poets with the accomplished poets on the Academy’s Board of Chancellors. The idea follows in the spirit of Rainer Maria Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet, and encourages aspiring poets to engage with poetry. To participate, first read some of the chancellor’s works, think of what one poem means to you or what questions you have about it, and then write the author a letter. Letters must be handwritten, and include name, age, and grade. Mailing address is listed at Poets.org. Some letters will receive a reply and/or be featured on the website.
American Poetry Landmarks
Poets.org has a long list of Poetry Landmarks that you can visit throughout America. Take a trip to Emily Dickinson’s home in MA, or a walking tour of Walt Whitman’s SoHo. Celebrate poetry month at one of these historic places.