April was set aside as National Poetry Month by the Academy of American Poets to highlight poets, as well as encourage the reading and writing of poetry. Their extensive website has resources for anyone looking to celebrate poetry during the thirty days of April.
However, Ohio is triply blessed to be home to the Literary Cleveland writers’ group as well as two of the greatest library systems in the United States: Cleveland Library and Cuyahoga County Library. If you have not already signed up for Cuyahoga Library’s 30 Days of Poetry, please do so now; you will receive daily emails with a poem to read, a poetry prompt, and a poetry book recommendation.* You won’t regret it.
And if you don’t have plans yet for Saturday the eighth, Literary Cleveland is having another free poetry workshop. This one will be hosted by Damien Ware, a local activist with multiple degrees–as well as many public performances, open mics, and creative writing workshops under his belt. If you’d like to attend, the workshop takes place at the Cleveland Main Library from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Don’t forget to bring several copies of a poem you would like to work on.
Lastly, in the spirit of National Poetry Month, I would like to share a poem I wrote last April to one of the Cuyahoga Library’s daily prompts. I hope you enjoy it.
This month’s showers
usher in Fools and flowers–
hightop Converse sneakers
crushing petals beneath scampering feet,
whoopee cushions and pranks
to day one
can give themselves permission
to clown around.
And for those who, like me, are Shakespeare-obsessed,
though Touchstone or Bottom the Weaver might jest,
this twenty-third day celebrates best
the birth of the Bard who was foolishly blessed.
And another one is designated
to gaming, for those who appreciate it, not across a TV screen–
but with dice and boards, cards and caffeine,
strategy, role-playing too.
No matter what your revenue,
Tabletop Day is celebrated–
among family and friends, it’s highly rated.
Set aside seven days
to honor libraries—
of book fairs, classes and classic
novels to check out
each community center;
Can’t get there? It’s fine. Online
there’s still more.
Yet thirty days of dedication
are given to poetry–versification,
meter and internal rhyme,
writing programs, slams,
and readings from every sunrise til sunset
ordinary people find the time
to access their inner poet.
A month of inspiration,
for a world of weary souls.
perhaps inspired by those first Fools,
is the best cure for sickness,
what a month of words and wisdom,
merriment and mirth,
can do to soothe
a world that aches for play
Thank you for your time. Go forth to read and write to your heart’s content, and remember that polite feedback is always welcome and appreciated!
*Since this is an email digest, I don’t believe you need to be an Ohioan to sign up for this free service. However, posts will naturally feature Ohio poets.
**image provided by kind permission of BigFoto.com