“Protest beyond the law is not a departure from democracy; it is absolutely essential to it.” ― Howard Zinn
National Poetry Month is just around the corner, with lots of yummy, creative stuff beginning Saturday, April 1. Celebrate with me? I’m challenging myself to write a poem a day for the month of April. Here are 30 other ideas you can try! Share you efforts here, in the comments field below or on our Facebook page here.
30 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month
- Order a free National Poetry Month poster and display it at work or school.
- Sign up for Poem-a-Day and read a poem each morning.
- Sign up for Teach This Poem, a weekly series for teachers.
- Memorize a poem.
- Create an anthology of your favorite poems on Poets.org.
- Encourage a young person to participate in the Dear Poet project.
- Buy a book of poetry from your local bookstore.
- Review these concrete examples of how poetry matters in the United States today.
- Learn more about poets and poetry events in your state.
- Ask your governor or mayor for a proclamation in support of National Poetry Month.
- Attend a poetry reading at a local university, bookstore, cafe, or library.
- 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 poetry writing community.
- Start a poetry reading group.
- Write an exquisite corpse poem with friends.
- Chalk a poem on the sidewalk.
- Deepen your daily experience by reading Edward Hirsch’s essay “How to Read a Poem.”
- Ask the United States Post Office to issue more stamps celebrating poets.
- Recreate a poet’s favorite food or drink by following his or her recipe.
- Read about different poetic forms.
- Read about poems titled “poem.”
- Watch a poetry movie.
- Subscribe to American Poets magazine or a small press poetry journal.
- Watch Rachel Eliza Griffiths’s P.O.P (Poets on Poetry) videos.
- Watch or read Carolyn Forche’s talk “Not Persuasion, But Transport: The Poetry of Witness.”
- Read or listen to Mark Doty’s talk “Tide of Voices: Why Poetry Matters Now.”
- Read Allen Ginsberg’s classic essay about Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass.”
- Celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day today! The idea is simple: select a poem you love, carry it with you, then share it with coworkers, family, and friends.
- Sign up for a poetry class or workshop.
- Get ready for Mother’s Day by making a card featuring a line of poetry.
- Read the first chapter of Muriel Rukeyer’s inspiring book The Life of Poetry.
“To sin by silence, when they should protest, makes cowards of men.” — Ella Wheeler Wilcox
“You may never know what results come of your actions, but if you do nothing, there will be no results.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
THANK YOU FOR following along on the adventure that is Random Acts of Writing, and the meandering “many things” we’ve talked about. I feel very blessed to have had such a supportive and creative community in which to share my musings for the past seven years, and look forward to more good things to come!
PHOTO ©2016, Jen Payne, Walrus and Carpenter display at House on the Rock, Spring Green, WI. Text from “The Walrus and the Carpenter,” a narrative poem by Lewis Carroll that appeared in his book Through the Looking-Glass.
When you move to the beat of a different drum
there’s no cure for the blister that forms from the
There’s no common book on which to lean your fears
no vow that forgives the misdemeanors of heart and soul
The way a fool would do…
Instead, you make a poultice from prayers
to no god and all gods,
a tincture of stardust and make-believe
to cool the heat of betrayal,
ease the disappointments,
and reconcile the little deaths
you know he didn’t mean
Forget the relievers and remedies
for everything that ails you,
just hide the scars with Hope,
kiss and make it better
Poem ©2017, Jen Payne. Image: The Dance, Marc Chagall.
“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” ― Elie Wiesel