Stanza Bonanza: April is National Poetry Month
by Whitney Lyons, interim community relations coordinator
Beginning with the nursery rhymes we recite as young children (and pass down to our own), to the classics we’ve studied in school, poetry has become such an integral part of our lives. It is the foundation of our favorite song lyrics, or that catchy commercial jingle that you just can’t seem to get out of your head.
Poetry is everywhere, and not just our bookshelves. It surrounds us, affects our mood, and inspires.
April is a month to celebrate poetry. The Academy of American Poets launched National Poetry Month in 1996 to celebrate poetry’s vital place in American culture.
The goals of National Poetry Month are to:
▪ Highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets
▪ Introduce more Americans to the pleasures of reading poetry
▪ Bring poets and poetry to the public in immediate and innovative ways
▪ Make poetry a more important part of the school curriculum
▪ Increase the attention paid to poetry by national and local media
▪ Encourage increased publication, distribution, and sales of poetry books
▪ Increase public and private philanthropic support for poets and poetry
Today, thousands of schools, publishers, booksellers, poets and libraries – including Boyd County Public Library – participate through readings, festivals, book displays and other events.
Again this year, BCPL is holding a Book Spine Poem Contest throughout the month. The creator of the best poem – using only the spines of books – will receive a poetry book of their choice, up to a $50 value.
How do you make a book spine poem? Just look at the books on your shelves at home, or wander through the stacks the next time you are at the library. Grab 5 or 6, or more, and arrange them, top to bottom, in a way to create a poetic verse. It doesn’t have to rhyme. Just be creative – like the one in the photo created by BCPL Circulation Specialist Renee Schmutz-Sowards.
Take a picture of your book spine poem and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org, or post it to the BCPL Facebook page.
All of the book spine poem pictures will be displayed in a gallery on our Facebook page, where people can “like” their favorite. The one with the most likes at the end of the month will be the winner.
April’s teen program is all about poetry, too. BCPL will host a Teen Poetry Slam where teens can share their original poetry, read their favorite poem penned by someone else, or just come and listen. Food will be provided to boost creativity and keep the verses flowing.
The Teen Poetry Slam will be held on Tuesday, April 8, at Main, and on Thursday, April 17, at Kyova. Both programs start at 6 p.m.
So, unleash your poetic side this April. Browse your bookshelves (or better yet, the library’s) and start stacking some books. Just remember to stack the spines, and keep in mind, there’s no need to rhyme (but if you do that’s cool, too).
For more information on this or anything library-related, just give me a call at 606.329.0518, ext. 1130.