Saturday, April 22, 2006

National Poetry Month

Seems to me mostly a self-congratulation party. Our local paper, the San Francisco Chronicle, has had not one item that even mentions it -- and the Chron usually covers poetry books. Just whose party is it, I'm wondering.

Well, obviously The Academy of American Poets takes it seriously. You can sign up to receive an emailed poem a day in April, selected by one of their poets. And they initiated the Poetry Read-Athon for schools, an excellent idea to bring an otherwise neglected subject into grade school classrooms. Let's hope with some sense of fun. Their Celebrate NaPoMo section lists all the basic things poets already do -- and let's face it, who else is reading their site? All very hopeful ideas about getting poetry out into the larger culture, yet largely ineffective.

I decided to take out my resentment of the culture's ignoring of poetry by simply writing a poem a day for the month. Forget trying to do something for poetry. I'm making poetry do something for me. So far, it's working.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

A good day in poetry

I have been thoroughly enjoying my National Poetry Month exercise of writing and reading at least one poem a day. Today's exercise was especially rewarding. I found a delightful article by Naomi Shihab Nye about the idea of "sneaking poems into your day." I wrote a poem I felt happy to consider revising -- always a sign of inspirational fruitfulness, the itch to make it better. And I was emailed by Felicia Sullivan, Editor of Small Spiral Notebook, that a rave review of Femme au chapeau was just posted by reviewer Laura McCullough.

As I survey my direction in poetry -- look out, here comes a major brag -- I feel significantly encouraged. Femme au chapeau has had a series of excellent notices:
The Pedestal Magazine
Smartish Pace
Alsop Review
Comstock Review
Small Spiral Notebook

I think I'll keep doing what I'm doing.

Hapy Easter! Hope you wrote or read a poem, took a walk, or otherwise worshipped in the wide style of embracing the earth.