Have you tried (and maybe failed?) to stay on task writing your 30-in-30 poetry magnum opus this April? Are you almost burned out even though we are only ten days in? Well don’t fret. We’re here to help you figure out what the heck to do to commemorate National Poetry Month that may get your muses singing again.
- Attend a poetry reading. Need some help? The editors of Poetix (in Los Angeles) have compiled a calendar for places that offer regular readings throughout Southern California. If you’re not in the LA area, finding local poetry readings is as easy as Googling “poetry reading” near your zip code.
- Sign up for the Poets.org Poem-a-Day Newsletter. Without the Academy of American Poets, we probably wouldn’t have a National Poetry Day! You can get a poem a day sent straight to your inbox from a range of poets like Victoria Chang, Matthea Harvey, Kadijah Queen, Jenny Xie and many more. The artist’s blurb which follows each poem could serve for you as a prompt or inspiration to write your own verse on a similar subject.
- Check out this list of Protest Poetry. The personal is political is poetic. The list features artists from Terrance Hayes to Anne Waldman, so you know it’s gotta be good.
- Figure out which poem you’ll carry with you on Poem in Your Pocket Day (April 26). Select a poem—you can even pick one from LSPMAG—carry it with you, and share it with everyone everywhere and tag it #pocketpoem.
- Visit your local library and check out poetry collections in the stacks. The more people who use the library as a resource, the better it is for everyone. Hot tip: if you are a County of Los Angeles Public Library cardholder, you can reserve books online, even if the book you want is not at your local branch. They will process an interlibrary loan, mail it to your library, and have it ready for you to pick up within a matter of days.
- Support your local bookseller! We are very lucky to still have a handful of independent booksellers in the greater LA region—Gatsby Books (Long Beach), Pages (Manhattan Beach), The Last Bookstore (DTLA), Vroman’s (Pasadena), Book Soup (WeHo), and Stories Books & Cafe (Echo Park), to name a few. Take yourself on a book date and drag your fingers across the spines of the books in the poetry section. Look for a name you don’t recognize. Open to the first poem, then the last, and finally pick one in between. Read the first and last lines. Find your twin flame. If this poet speaks to you, do not let them go. Make this a monthly habit and make friends with the booksellers.
What are your plans for the rest of National Poetry Month? Any new (to you) poets you’re obsessing over?
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