Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Creative Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month

There are lots of fun, out-of-the-box ways to celebrate National Poetry Month. Below are a few of our favorites.

Put a Poem in Your Pocket – Or on Your Feed suggests participating in Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 18; visit their page for more details and to access links to poems you can carry with you throughout the day. But rather than simply sharing your pocket poem with co-workers, family, and friends as the site suggests, why not put a modern twist on this fun idea? Many websites, including, The Poetry Foundation, Poem Hunter, Old Poetry ( and more will allow you to share poems with the click of an icon. Post your favorite poems to Facebook or share them via Twitter or email.

Take a Poet to Lunch

Of course, if you know any poets, buying them lunch would be a great way to celebrate poetry month. But for those of us without connections, a fun alternative is to tuck a poem into someone’s lunchbox for them to find when they sit down to eat that afternoon. Or pack yourself a favorite poem, or a whole book of them, to nourish your body and your soul come lunchtime. For a child, why not use Magnetic Poetry as an inspiration and include a bag of poetic words next to the bag of apple slices? Your child and his/her friends can create their own poems while they eat!

Enjoy Poetry-Inspired Media

The Outsiders was inspired, in part, by Robert Frost’s Nothing Gold Can Stay. What would Dead Poets Society be without “O Captain, my Captain”? Plenty of books and movies center around poetry, and there are also a number of wonderful movies about the lives of famous poets. hosts a long list of great films to enjoy. Or, challenge your family to think of as many books as they can which are focused on poetry. One of our recent favorites is Matched by Ally Condie, which centers around themes in Dylan Thomas’s Do Not Go Gentle.

Read Poetry – as a Novel

There are many wonderful novels available for young people that are written in verse. These can be great options for unsteady readers because verse looks much less intimidating than dense paragraphs on a page. Try titles like Love that Dog by Sharon Creech (also, look for Hate that Cat), What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Somes, Out of the Dust and Aleutian Sparrow by Karen Hesse, The Surrender Tree by Margarita Engle, Crashboomlove by Juan Felipe Herrera, and The First Part Last by Angela Johnson.

Trade Your Bedtime Story for a Poetry Reading

Instead of reading a traditional picture book to your children as you tuck them in, opt for fun, child-friendly poems like those of Jack Prelutzky or Shel Silverstein, or reach for classics like A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson, When We Were Very Young by A.A. Milne, or Appley Dapply’s Nursery Rhymes by Beatrix Potter. Rhyming books like Llama, Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney and just about any of Dr. Seuss’s offerings are also good choices.

Photo: CC by Jemimus

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