Wednesday, April 18, 2007

National Poetry Month

In a proclamation issued on April 1, 1996, President Bill Clinton declared: "National Poetry Month offers us a welcome opportunity to celebrate not only the unsurpassed body of literature produced by our poets in the past, but also the vitality and diversity of voices reflected in the works of today's American poetry….Their creativity and wealth of language enrich our culture and inspire a new generation of Americans to learn the power of reading and writing at its best."

And so began the yearly celebration dedicated to the diverse voices of poets. In addition, similar official National Poetry Month proclamation have been issued by mayors from towns and cities across the country, including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Tucson, and Washington, D.C.

Like Black History Month, the celebration of poetry each April has grown and established itself organically, in both official and unofficial ways. Each year, publishers, booksellers, educators, and literary organizations use April to promote poetry: publishers often release and publicize their poetry titles in April, teachers and librarians focus on poetry units during the month; and bookstores and reading series frequently hold special readings.

Each year, a special poster is commissioned by the Academy of American Poets for National Poetry Month, with almost 200,000 copies distributed for free. In the past, posters have been designed by noted graphic designers such as Chip Kidd and Milton Glaser. The 2007 poster was designed by Christoph Niemann.

Since 1999, National Poetry Month has been celebrated each April in Canada, where it is sponsored by the League of Canadian Poets and organized around a different annual theme
Three cheers for former President Clinton!

Research info provided by:
Image by Paal Bentdal

Want to read some "all the way live" words:

To Somewhere Or By

A forest that gives way to paper.
Tarpaulin scratched across pages of verbs.
A door leading to your porcelain yes.
Pink undertones entwined or a cold sore.
Her spine curves into the turnstile.
He nuzzles closer, twice her size.
Language concealed in flashing signals.
There is rain on the rails.
The lavender in a dream (with ruffles).
Oil-slick bubbles in a burnt-blue shimmer.
The O in a vowel made form oak.
Mail that consists mostly of bills.
A leaf against my cheek.
Knew it was, anyway, and tug-of-warring.

This poem first appeared online at:
Copyright 2007 by Maurice Oliver. All Rights Reserved.
Visit my e-zine at:
And music blog at:

No comments: