Share your poetic side
From the nursery rhymes we learned as kids, to the graffiti we see plastered on buildings, to the more serious and thought-provoking stanzas we encounter in our adult reading, poetry is everywhere.
Poetry captures our moods, inspires our thoughts and urges us on. It makes us laugh and cry – sometimes within the same group of lines.
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.
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 Information Supervisor Jamie Bayne.
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.
Need inspiration? We’ve added a ton of new poetry books to the library’s collection, and many of them will be on display in April at all three branches, and available to check out.
Poets and non-poets alike can also participate in Poem in Your Pocket Day, which we are observing this year on Thursday, April 18. The concept is simple: select a poem you love, then carry it with you to share throughout the day with co-workers, family and friends.
There are ways you can share poetry digitally, too: Add a poem to your email footer for the day. Post a poem on your Facebook page or blog. Tweet a poem – as long as it’s 140 characters or less – and use the hashtag #pocketpoem.
Don’t have a favorite poem, or any way to print one? Then stop by the Ashland, Catlettsburg or Kyova branch anytime on April 18 and we will give you one.
Poem in Your Pocket Day dates to 2002, when New York created it as part of the city’s National Poetry Month celebration. Volunteers handed out poems about NYC life to commuters at Grand Central Station. In 2009, the observance went nationwide – allowing folks all around the country to join in and channel their inner bard.
So, enjoy some beautiful poetry this month. Play around with some book spines to create a poem for our contest. And make sure you wear something with pockets on April 18.