April Is National Poetry Month

I’ve been weighing whether to participate in a daily poetry project this month. And while I have a lot on my plate already, I’d like to produce a poem a day this month. The writing of my poetry falls into a habit of writing couplets – and although I like the cadence, rhythm, and rhyme couplets provide, it is not always the most enriching for my craft. I’d like to experiment with different forms of poetry this month. So perhaps, I’ll jump from form to form, spending a few days on each until I tire of the constraints in the form I am writing. But, I’m not sure I have time.

Other poets I know have developed their own projects for National Poetry Month. Mary Lee Hahn at a(another) year of reading is writing Cheritas or a story poem consisting of three stanzas. I’ve never heard of that form, so perhaps I’ll try it.

Laura Salas Purdie has a poetry month project where she is digging for poems from a word bank. I’ll need to see more examples of this before I delve in. I’m not sure exactly how it works. Do I work from her words or have my own word bank? How about the generation of a topic? Do I use the form she provides or my own? I’m sure Laura has explained this somewhere because she is a prolific author, as well as very organized and thorough. I haven’t been the best at reading Poetry Friday posts since the holidays, so I’m sure I’ve missed something here. It does sound fun, though!

Some poets are taking the opportunity National Poetry Month affords to write every day, like Margaret Simon, at Reflections on the Tech. Margaret wrote every day in March for the Slice of Life Challenge by TwoWritingTeachers.org and is planning to write every day for National Poetry Month. This is on top of her full-time teaching of gifted students in Louisana. It’s an impressive commitment.

These examples are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to projects I know of for National Poetry Month.

Myself? Again, I don’t have any concrete plans, with the exception of a public poetry reading I’m doing on Wednesday, April 5th, at a small branch of the Winding Rivers Library System in West Central Wisconsin. Perhaps that is enough of a way for me to celebrate the month! It is with the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, a group to which I belong.

There I will read ten of my own poems, five previously published and five not yet committed to publication, alongside three other poets, all male. We have a time limit for our readings which I expect to be difficult to adhere to. I will try my best, however, by limiting my pre-reading comments and choice of poems. I had to revise the list I previously turned in due to the length. This was an elective, self-edit once I saw the program for the evening. I had the most poems to be read. It was overcompensation for a poetry reading I did last year where I had far fewer poems to be read that the person I was paired with at a public reading at the art gallery in Iowa.

Used with Permission. Carol Labuzzetta, 2023.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that my goal for National Poetry Month is different. I write every day – not poetry but on my Medium.com site and occasionally on this, my WordPress blog. I’ve been reading poetry – having bought another Sage Cohen book last month – Fierce on the Page. And, I’ve been reviewing my collection of poems. I’ve accumulated a large number – after all, I’ve written daily since February 2017 and some of that has been poetry.

I’d like to edit what I have, send to the Boston editor I used for my chapbook last May, and work on an entire compilation of my poetry works. It’s not that I feel the poetry is that great – it’s that I feel it’s as good as some of what I’m reading that has been published by others. Truly, I believe I’m an essayist, not a poet. There are parts of poetry, that I just don’t get – it’s too raw or too ambiguous or too hard to understand – and I’m not sure I want to pursue that end of it.

As I told the librarian, much of my poetry is written for children, and some is child-like. I’m good with that. I need to write some query letters for a few of my poems that could be books if published together. Writing queries can be hard, as I’m finding out.

And, I have my adult mystery novel I’m trying to finish.

So, National Poetry month? I’m glad other writers are enjoying it but I’ll be pushing things around that are already on my plate. It’s too full to add another helping right now. You can be sure I’ll enjoy reading your efforts.

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