Posts Tagged ‘National Poetry Month’



April 11, 2023

Poem by manuel arturo abreu

As I said in my first blog post in April every morning I receive an email from Poem-a-Day put out by the Academy of American Poets. It’s a way to stretch my thinking in a different direction, reading poetry written by artists from varying backgrounds. I can read them or listen to them. I prefer listening since they’re often recited by the poet. On some days listening helps me center myself for the day ahead. Some poems are calming, others sad and some challenge my thinking.

I found this one fascinating and I learned what Klangfarbenmelodie means.


clock that measures the opposite of time
ancient pixel built from half a breath
the seed of a perfect moon

numbers don’t lie because they can’t tell the truth
the kindling space between a choice
& its airless shadow

a polite noumenon guides my dismay
with the grace of email for doves
originating in silence like all eternal things

joystruck demon of rain
the welas at the bus stop look like potatoes
in cellophane       the milk of their laughter

Anaisa’s mirror is her palm
a plangent yellow, bones of song
tracing lines of flight

Almost always at the end of the poem is About this Poem. Some days it takes me listening to this section to get a sense of what the poem is about and/or what the poet is conveying. This is one of those times but I’m sure music educators reading this are familiar with Klangfarbenmelodie.

“Klangfarbenmelodie (German for ‘sound-color melody’) is a musical technique that involves splitting a musical line or melody between several instruments, rather than assigning it to just one instrument (or set of instruments), thereby adding color (timbre) and texture to the melodic line. Serialists such as [Arnold] Schoenberg and [Anton] Webern are known for this approach to tone color. The technique is sometimes compared to ‘pointillism,’ a Neo-Impressionist painting technique. In this poem, I explore linguistic applications of this concept with reference to non-linear time, placemaking, and what Wilson Harris calls the ‘predatory coherence’ of quantized or Cartesian time (as opposed to Bergsonian ‘pure time’ or ‘duration’).”
manuel arturo abreu

To learn more about the poem and are curious about a person who would write a poem about Klangfarbenmelodie go to THIS LINK. Enjoy and consider subscribing to Poem-a-Day.


National Poetry Month

April 1, 2023

Celebrate – April

“I’ll tell you a secret: we don’t read and write poetry because it’s pretty. We read and write poetry because we belong to the human race; and the human race is filled with passion. Medicine, Law, Commerce, Engineering… they are noble and necessary races to dignify human life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love are things that keep us alive” – Dead Poets Society (1989), Robin Williams

Perhaps just because I am more tuned in to poetry at this point in my life but it seems like there are so many more poetry resources and a ton of information on the topic that comes into my email. My favorite poetry emails are from the Academy of American Poets. Everyday I get an email with a Poem-a-Day included. You can sign up for free. Not only is it in text but also a click away to a recording of someone reciting the poem, often the author. At the end of each poem is an ‘about this poem’ which gives a context for the poem. I find this very helpful since my ‘poetry education’ has been slight. In addition, there is information about the poet.

Each month there is a poet who serves as the ‘guest editor’. The host sometimes has a theme for the month and the daily poem connects with the theme. It’s an interesting way to absorb poetry. Most of the poems are very serious but not always. Sometimes the layout of the poem is non-traditional and it connects directly to visual art, which of course, I enjoy. I copy and paste my favorite poems into a word document and print it to keep in my ‘sayings and poetry’ book. I use this book when I’m looking for inspiration or to use in a handmade card. It is filled with my favorite sayings and poems, a lifetime of ‘good stuff’. I find a morning that starts with listening to a poem from the Academy of American Poets is a wonderful way to start the day. You might want to consider doing so for yourself or consider sharing with your students.

In celebration of National Poetry Month the Academy of American Poets is hosting their 20th annual Poetry & the Creative Mind. The event takes place online on Wednesday, April 26, 2023 at 7:30 and is open to the public. The poets include the following and the event will be hosted by Richard Blanco and Kimiko Hahn.

  • Andrew Bird
  • Alan Cumming
  • Ethan Hawke
  • Emily Igwike – National Students Poet Program
  • Daniel Dae Kim
  • Eric Kim
  • Ada Limon – U.S. Poet Laureate
  • Jonathan Majors
  • Shantell Martin
  • Liam Neeson
  • Rosie Perez
  • Molly Shannon
  • Malala Yousafzai

This is a fund raiser however, it’s not necessary to contribute to attend. The proceeds support National Poetry Month and the Academy of American Poets Education Program, providing thousands of free resources to teachers.

You can register for this event for FREE at THIS LINK. Perhaps you’ll be inspired to include poetry in your life in a new way!


National Poetry Month

April 1, 2021

Happy new month

We can, and many educators do, use poetry and creative writing in their classrooms whether they teach English Language Arts or another subject. Many arts educators use poetry to enhance, dove-tail, and/or integrate into their arts subject. When Amanda Gorman recited her poem at the Presidential Inauguration in January it made a huge impression on citizens of all ages. If you’re not incorporating poetry into your arts classroom I can’t think of a better time to do so.

In recognition of National Poetry Month this post is about resources and opportunities about learning more about poetry. You may find it useful for yourself and for your students. If you have any resources please feel free to share at the bottom of this post or email me at and I can include them in a blog post for others to learn from.


  • Tim Needles is an artist and a veteran art teacher who uses poetry in his art classroom. The article Video Poems Add Digital Literacy to Creativity and Expression was authored by Jerry Fingal for the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) blog. Needles suggests places for teachers to start and tips for success in using the simplest forms of technology when making a visual poem. He also goes into ideas for connections with other subjects including STEAM ideas. “Teachers can start with simple poetry, like a haiku, and use whatever technology is available. As for images, nature is always good for visuals.” An aside, if you’re interested in technology standards ISTE is the place to look.
  • is a website filled with resources. You can subscribe (on the front page) and receive in your email box a “poem-a-day”. Each month there is a guest editor which changes the flavor month to month. You can read the poem or listen to it being recited. At the end there is a small segment called “about this poem” which provides interesting information about the poem. Very informative.
  • The Academy of American Poets is providing their Annual Gala, this year entitled Poetry & the Creative Mind. It is normally held in person but this year, the 18th celebration, will be held virtually. You can register at no cost. The event is on April 29, 7:30, and marks the 25th anniversary of National Poetry Month.
  • The Poetry Out Loud finals are held annual with each state represented by one high school student. If they’re lucky to make it through the three rounds they will each recite 3 poems that they have practiced over and over and know insider out. This year the national event will be held virtually with the semi-finals held on Sunday, May 3 and the finals on May 27. Both events will be streamlined on  You can learn more about the events at THIS LINK. The Poetry Out Loud site has a huge collection of poems that you can download.
  • If you’re interested in joining a group of people who are working on writing poetry consider participating in The Poetry Place. Maine Teaching Artist Brian Evans-Jones established the Poetry Place. Brian is a member of the Maine Arts Commission roster and has participated in the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (now MAEPL). For several years he was involved in Maine’s Poetry Out Loud (POL) program as a judge and he worked with two of our state representatives who represented Maine in the national POL program.
  • The Poetry Foundation has numerous resources including poems that you can read, download, and listen. Check out their site for all they have to offer.

Amanda Gorman

Just after the presidential inauguration Amanda told “CBS This Morning” co-host Anthony Mason: “Poetry is a weapon. It is an instrument of social change…and poetry is one of the most political arts out there because it demands that you rupture and destabilize the language in which you’re working with. Inherently, you are pushing against the status quo. And so for me, it’s always existed in that tradition of truth-telling.”


Pull a Poem Out of Your Pocket

April 4, 2019

Add some poetry or more poetry

Considering what to do to celebrate National Poetry Month with your students? Check this great idea out. It combines creativity, theater, poetry and much more. CLICK HERE to read the article found on Curriculum Matters blog, written by Brenda Iasevoll on April 27, 2018.


Poetry Resources

May 14, 2018

Wes McNair

During Poetry Month, former Maine’s Poet Laureate, Wes McNair launched a new poetry website for teachers and learners called The Lyric Moose.  If you’re looking for a resource that will help you teach or learn about free verse poetry and how to write about it, check out this compendium of six programs, with a wide range of interactive instruction, including videos, craft exercises, teaching assignments, author interviews and poem lists.

While visiting the site I found the resource 20 Maine Poets Read and Discuss Their Work compelling. The resource includes 20 short videos in which a diverse group of contemporary Maine poets read two poems apiece and explain their beginnings as poets, their influences, and their themes. Gibson Fay LeBlanc and Megan Grumbling are two of the 20 poets featured. For several years they have both provided workshops for the Commission’s Poetry Out Loud program.


“The website includes links to poetry projects for teachers that I’ve developed with Colby College Special Collections and Information Technology Services. There are six links in all, and three of them were sponsored in one way or another by the Maine Arts Commission.”

It is wonderful to see the impact that Wes continues to make on education in Maine and beyond. THANK YOU Wes for your contributions!



April 9, 2017

15th annual event

More than 25 well-known and emerging poets and musicians celebrate National Poetry Month at the Bangor Public Library on Thursday, April 27, 4:30 – 8:00 PM. The event will celebrate “Origins: Roots & Sources”. For more information please call 947-8336.

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