April may be “the cruelest month,” but it’s also National Poetry Month (contrary to the Poetry Foundation’s April Fool’s announcement that National Poetry Month has been cancelled)!

Every April since 1996– poets, readers, teachers, critics, and publishers have used National Poetry Month as a time to rally the troops and get people interested in the world’s oldest literary art form.

Sure, there are a few folks who complain that compressing the poetry blitz into one single month relegates the form’s relevance to the realms of topicality. (And yes, I was going for alliteration). But c’mon! For those of us who love poetry year-round, it’s a great excuse to be over-the-top about our obsession!

So,… poetry-lovers: what are you doing to celebrate National Poetry Month? May I offer a few suggestions?

1. Join NaPoWriMo- Participants in The National Poetry Writing Month are encouraged to write 30 poems in 30 days. They’re only a few days into the month, so you can still catch up!

2. Contribute a “1-Minute Poem Report” to my poetry blog YRTEOP.COM (“poetry” spelled backwards) – It’s like getting up in front of class to present a book report about your favorite poem, only without the quivering voice and weak knees: a chance to share (in just a few paragraphs) your thoughts on a favorite piece by a favorite poet.

How did it make such an impact? What did your life look like just before and just after discovering this poem? Click HERE for details on how to share your love of poetry in a “1-Minute Poem Report.” [Full disclosure: I’m the editor of YRTEOP.COM]

3. Read a new collection of contemporary poetry each week in April- Visit a bookstore, library, or online retailer and set aside some time to finally investigate a few of the living poets you keep hearing about.

The list really could go on and on (stage a reading, host an event, hide haikus in the pockets of jackets at JC Penny, etc.], so let us know what you’re doing for National Poetry Month in the comments section below.


Chris Robley

About Chris Robley

Chris Robley has written 563 posts in this blog.

is an award-winning poet, songwriter, performer, and music producer who now lives in Portland, Maine after more than a decade in Portland, Oregon. His music has been praised by NPR, the LA Times, the Boston Globe, and others. Skyscraper Magazine said he is “one of the best short-story musicians to come along in quite some time.” Robley’s poetry has been published or is forthcoming in POETRY, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, Beloit Poetry Journal, RHINO, Magma Poetry, and more. He is the 2013 winner of Boulevard's Poetry Prize for Emerging Writers and the 2014 recipient of a Maine Literary Award in the category of "Short Works Poetry."

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