With everything that is going on these days, I haven’t focused as much as I usually do on National Poetry Month, an annual event sponsored by the Academy Of American Poets to bring more attention to poetry in our everyday lives. Typically, the organization spends the month of April celebrating poetry through poetry gatherings across the country, a school-based educational program called “Dear Poet,” and reading poetry to others in your daily life during “Poem in the Pocket Day.” However, seeing as we aren’t gathering or going to school or mostly not even going outside, there wasn’t as much activity this year. Recognizing the changed circumstances, Academy Of American Poets has supplemented its usual activities by running another program called “Shelter in Poems,” which invites poets and poetry lovers to share poems via social media that lifts their spirits or encourages them during these hard times.
Tomorrow, we can help National Poetry Month go out with a bang by attending an online event entitled “Shelter in Poems: A Virtual Reading.” This program, which starts at 7:30 Eastern Time on Thursday, April 30, will feature poem readings by some of the “rock stars” of American poetry–people like Joy Harjo (the current United States poet laureate), Rita Dove (a former US poet laureate), Juan Felipe Herrera (another former US poet laureate), Naomi Shihab Nye (Poetry Foundation’s current Young People’s Poet Laureate)…well, you get the picture. There will also be presentations by actors, musicians, and artists.
The event is FREE and open to anyone who is interested. To attend, please sign up via Eventbrite at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/shelter-in-poems-a-virtual-reading-tickets-103370060634.