10 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month

April 01, 2016

Regular readers of Catching Happiness know I post a poem here approximately every other Wednesday. I share this simple pleasure in an effort to show that poetry doesn’t have to be the broccoli of the literary world. It can be beautiful, simple, thought-provoking, funny, entertaining—and it doesn’t have to make your stomach (or your brain) hurt.

April 2016 marks the 20th anniversary of National Poetry Month, so if you’re at all  interested, it’s an ideal time to discover the flavor of different types of poetry. You don’t have to attend a poetry slam or immerse yourself in obscure verse to do so, either. Here are 10 (mostly) simple ways to expand your taste for poetry. Bon appetit!

Combine National Poetry Month with the trend of coloring for adults by downloading a free poetry coloring book.

Who says poetry has to be serious? Enjoy some funny poems, such as the collection I Could Pee On This: And Other Poems By Cats.

If you’re in a book club, suggest choosing a book of poetry—or even a single poem—as focus for a meeting. Or check out this free guide to starting your own “poetry café.”

Sign up for Poem-A-Day, or for a weekly poem via email from American Life in Poetry. (This last is where I get the poems I highlight here.)

Participate in National Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 21, 2016. (You can download a poem for your pocket here, too.) 

Buy a book of poetry, or check one out from the library. Two collections I’ve enjoyed recently: She Walks in Beauty: A Woman’s JourneyThrough Poems, and Good Poems for Hard Times. I also love many of Mary Oliver’s poems.


Watch a TED talk of a poet reading his or her work. 

Click here to visit Name Poem Generator, type in your name (or someone else’s), and the site will generate an acrostic poem. 

If you write poetry, join NaPoWriMo and write a poem a day, or check out some of the sites participating. (I’ve participated in several 30-day challenges, but I’m not sure I’m up for writing a poem a day!)

Please share with us any poetic discoveries you make this month!

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5 comments

  1. Thank you for these. What great sites and ideas! I am going to visit some of them...

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  2. Kathy thank you friend for these links. I so love a good poem. Think I will start with the poems by Cats: )! Hope your week is off to a great start. Hugs!

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  3. Kathy thank you friend for these links. I so love a good poem. Think I will start with the poems by Cats: )! Hope your week is off to a great start. Hugs!

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  4. What a great resource! I always think I'd like to make more time for poetry. I'm signing up for A Poem A Day right now.

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  5. I hope you all enjoy the links--poetry should be a pleasure. Maybe you'll find some new and fun discoveries!

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