The Academy of American Poets celebrates National Poetry Month


James Cooper, Managing Editon

April 2016 marks the 20th anniversary of National Poetry Month, a celebration that began in 1996 after the Academy of American Poets were inspired by the successful efforts of the Black History and Women’s History Months.

The Academy of American Poets said, “National Poetry Month is the largest literary celebration in the world.”

The Academy of American Poets said they chose April to celebrate poetry because it would be “the best time within the year to turn attention toward the art of poetry- in an ultimate effort to encourage poetry readership year-round.”

National Poetry Month celebrates poetry by promoting literacy and promoting reading one poem a day or carrying a poem in your pocket on April 21.

The Academy of American Poets states, “the goals of National Poetry Month are to: highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets, encouraging the reading of poems, increase the attention paid to poetry by national and local media, encourage increased publication and distribution of poetry books, and encourage support for poets and poetry.”

AP English Literature and Composition teacher Nikki Reese said “when you’re acknowledging poetry, you’re acknowledging the things that bind us as humans.”

Mrs. Reese said she has encouraged her students to celebrate National Poem in Your Pocket Day and even she tries to read poems that she normally wouldn’t throughout the year.

Through programs such as Poem-A-Day, the Academy of American Poets has been able to provide new unpublished poems to interested readers and educate them on some of the classics.

Freshman Clare Harbin ’19, winner of the school level Poetry Out Loud competition this past December, celebrated her love of poetry with the Oak Leaf by reading “Turning the Tables” by Joel Dias-Porter, one of the poems she presented at the local level competition.  

Check out the Oak Leaf YouTube page to see her video and see The Academy of American Poets’ website for more ideas on how to celebrate National Poetry Month.