April 2014 | Nate Pedersen

National Poetry Month Begins Today

April begins today and with it the start of a month long celebration of poetry.  Since its inauguration by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, every April has been celebrated as National Poetry Month. Schools, libraries, publishers, booksellers, and, of course, poets, across the United States all come together to celebrate poetry in American culture. Readings, festivals, special book displays, workshops, and other events take place throughout the month.

"We hope to increase the visibility and availability of poetry in popular culture while acknowledging and celebrating poetry's ability to sustain itself in the many places where it is practiced and appreciated," reads a statement on the Academy of American Poets' website.

Interested in helping to celebrate poetry?  Check out 30 ways to join the festivities this month from the Academy of American Poets.  Suggestions include:

1) Read a book of poetry

2) Celebrate Poem-in-a-Pocket day

3) Put a poem on the pavement

4) 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."

5) Play exquisite corpse. "Each participant is unaware of what the others have written, thus producing a surprising--sometimes absurd--yet often beautiful poem."

And we here at Fine Books & Collections can add another way to celebrate National Poetry Month:

Add a poetry volume to your book collection.

Does your collection have nothing to do with poetry? Get creative about relating a book of poetry to the rest of your collection.  You might find yourself exploring a new and fascinating avenue of your library.