Reflecting On National Poetry Month

A few days into May and I’m sitting at my desk, drinking coffee, reflecting on National Poetry Month. It’s taken me a few days to let the full weight of the month absorb into my mind. A hurricane of pencils, scraps of paper, and sheer determination surrounded me for the full 30 days in April. What started out as an incredible first Thursday of the month soon led into three more Thursday nights joined by a group of people just as passionate about poetry as me.

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Yes, each Dose of Poetry event was unique and inspiring in its own way. Below you’ll see a variety of photos from weeks two through four. (Photos from the first week can be found here.) What was truly amazing was how the poets that we were honoring each session heavily influenced the tone of the night. It was interesting to compare the impact that Whitman and Dickinson had amongst the crowd compared to Yeats. Besides that, having so many wonderful voices gathering to share their own work was something that filled me with so much inspiration. I’m truly grateful to everyone who participated.
When I set out to make these poetry events happen, there were some challenges. Determined to not let doubtful comments stop me, I instead allowed them to fuel my spirit. Thankfully, it all paid off. It’s always a coin toss with these kinds of things. Especially at a University library where things can sometimes be poorly attended. However, the numbers remained steady and full each week. I truly appreciated every single person that came to celebrate poetry. With all that said, I can only hope that the future will yield more Doses of Poetry, and that I will be able to plan and host them just as I did last month.
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As if all of that wasn’t enough, I also participated in April’s National Poetry Month challenge 30/30. It may not seem like a lot to write a poem a day, but it certainly is. I still have yet to sort through every single one of the poems I wrote, but I will say that it was an excellent learning experience. The topics varied from day to day, and I began to become inspired by more instances and objects that occurred or appeared during my daily routine. From the sea salt brownies I bought one afternoon, to the black cat sitting in the middle of the street one night when I was driving home…I used it all. I know the best part about the challenge was incorporating the habit of writing a poem everyday into my schedule. It has since spilled over into May and poetry is still very much on my mind all the time.
To close, I want to share some more happy news that’s on the horizon with all of you. I applied and got accepted to the Frost Place 2016 Poetry Seminar! Looking to further my knowledge and work on my craft, I applied unsure whether or not my poetry submissions would be good enough to get in. I was thrilled when they were. I won’t be headed to New Hampshire until the end of July, but it’s something wonderful to look forward to.
Until next time,
Christine

A Dose of Poetry: Week One

Last night, I walked into work with a smile on my face. After six months of planning and working with my fellow library staff/faculty and the English Department, my first poetry event was about to come to life. With my worn out copy of Spring and All in hand, I thought about William Carlos Williams and the imagination. With his words in my mind…

“Only through the imagination is the advance of intelligence possible, to keep beside growing understanding.”

There was no way to predict how the first event would turn out, but I’m happy to report that the turnout was great. In fact, the whole night was just how I imagined it would be…A room full of people, passionate about poetry. The beauty of that is, the different voices you get to hear. We all have our own muses, things that inspire us, but the common thread of it all is, we love poetry.

A big thank you to Dr. Paul Cappucci who presented on Williams, and all of the poetry lovers that attended. I’m so happy that I get to host these events every Thursday this month. My hope is, it will lead to more opportunities like it in the future. Take a look at some of the pictures from the event below, along with some of my mission to let poetry take over the library this month.

 

National Poetry Month Is Coming…

National Poetry Month is almost here, and it seems like I’ve been preparing for it for an entire year. I can safely say I’ve been living and breathing poetry since last April, and I have learned so much about writing and myself. Next month I will be hosting four poetry events at Georgian Court University Library. The series is entitled “A Dose of Poetry,” and it’s going to be an inspiring set of events. I hope you can make it.

Besides that, I attended one of the best open mic events I’ve ever been to last Friday night. Poet Cord Moreski hosts a series entitled “Words on Main” bi-weekly in Asbury Park, NJ. This was the first time I attended one of his events, and I can safely say that it was an inspiring experience. The entire audience was welcoming and just as motivated about poetry as I am. I definitely recommend attending Cord’s events too.

Moving forward, I heard a lot about “30/30,” which is a National Poetry Month challenge where you write 30 poems in 30 days. Quite the challenge, yes, but I would imagine it would be worth it. I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo several times, and this is a poetry challenge in the same spirit. I believe it can be done. So, what do you say? Are you up for the challenge too?

Let’s chat about it on Twitter. Tweet me @AWritersWay!

To end, I’ll leave you with some Whitman…

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A Dose of Poetry

After a few months of planning, I’m happy that I can finally share some exciting news with all of you. In honor of National Poetry Month, I will be hosting four poetry workshops at Georgian Court University Library. Every Thursday night in April we will have a great presentation, followed by creative writing exercises and an opportunity to share your own poetry. Please share the flyer below with friends, family, and all of the creative folk you know!

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