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No April Foolin’: National Poetry Month & Earth Month Start TODAY!

April 1, 2010

Each April we celebrate two of my favorite things in life: poetry & the earth, and so every April I experience supreme torture because every day in April poetry readings and Earth Day events compete for my attention. This month is no exception and I will post as much as I can about various events.

I know not everyone is a fan of poetry. In fact, most people aren’t. As a college teacher who is often charged with the task of “teaching” literature to college students, including poetry, I find it’s that people haven’t had a chance to relax and find poems they enjoy.Being forced fed poetry in school, and being told to find the “hidden” meanings isn’t all that fun if you’re battling it out on your own and it feels like the teacher has all the secrets and doles out the answers when you and your classmates act pitifully enough. And even though, it doesn’t always make sense. There’s too much jargon and other nonsense that can interfere with a basic appreciation of the form. After all, do we require people to know all about music before we let them listen and find music that tickles their fancy?

Personally, I love reading, writing and listening to poetry of all kinds. On this blog, at least once a week, mostly on Mondays, I publish poetry, my own and sometimes the work of others including E.E. Cummings, Wendell Berry, Mary Oliver, and fellow blogger Paul Squires aka GingaTao!  For five years, from 2001-2006, I hosted a monthly poetry reading series at Zoey’s Cafe here in Ventura. I published some three dozen poems in ArtLife from 1996-2003 as well as in other poetry publications and books, most recently in qarrsiluni on the web in an issue that was just published (Mutating the Signature January-April 2009 Editors: Dana Guthrie Martin and Nathan Moore print edition). I’ve also co-edited a poetry anthology, between sleeps. And I have my own poetry manuscript in the works, love and terror at 3:15am–poetry from the 3:15 experiment 2001-2009, which I hope to wrap up soon and start sending out to contests and to get published. You can read some of my poetry here on my Poems & Projects page.

And Earth Month! A whole month to call attention to our one and only precious planet Earth! My first memories are of my toes in the earth under the house where I’d followed a bunny, and in the sand in the Pacific and in the fresh mud after the snow had melted in Peoria–all before I started school. Then memories of climbing trees and marveling at them followed by rock climbing, sailing, and backpacking with Girl Scouts in middle school.

It was natural for me to double major in literature/creative writing and in environmental studies. These two passions  of mine vie for my time and attention on a daily basis: do I go for a bike ride outside or stay inside and write? Do I garden or work on my poetry manuscript? Do I go to the wild to go camping or stay home to attend a literary event?

How will YOU be celebrating?

If you live in southern California, how about joining us for our Steampunk ArtRides April 2 & April 18? Or starting your own ArtRides in your community? Or how about just getting out for a bike ride instead of a car commute? (Need a bike? I’d love to sell you a bikergo!) How about learning more about climate change and trying to live more “green”this Earth Month?

And for Poetry Month, check these ideas out:

Poem In Your Pocket Day: Join thousands of individuals across the U.S. by carrying a poem in your pocket on April 29, 2010.
Poetry & the Creative Mind: Each April, The Academy of American Poets presents a star-studded celebration of American poetry.
Poem on the Range Project: Put poetry on the map by submitting your videos or photos of places associated with iconic poems.
Poem-A-Day: Great poems from new books emailed each day of National Poetry Month. Sign up for your daily dose of new poems from new spring poetry titles.
Spring Book List: Check out the new books of poetry available each spring.
Poem Flow for iPhones: Available through the iTunes store, this innovative mobile app features daily poems presented as both fixed and animated text.
National Poetry Map: Find out what is happening in your state by visiting our redesigned and updated National Poetry Map.
One Comment leave one →
  1. May 29, 2012 2:34 pm

    That was a great poem. I think you showed the flmaiy struggle well and that some chasms are difficult to cross but worth it sometimes to learn who you are. Have a great day.

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