National Poetry Month Excels in 2020



Since 1996, April has been bookmarked as National Poetry Month. Organized by the Academy of American Poets, the month serves as a reminder of all that poetry has to offer. 

The month is traditionally filled with local poetry slams and educational discussions that spark an awareness and appreciation of  across the United States. Though this year’s events have been moved online as people are urged to practice social distancing, this hasn’t stopped poets from finding new ways to come together and celebrate the month. 

Some open mic events have moved online, like the Women Writers in Bloom Poetry Salon that was held on April 18. If you still want to participate, Nuyorican Poets Cafe hosts open mics via Zoom every Monday night. The longest running consecutive weekly poetry open mic in the country, “Wednesday Night Poetry,” – normally hosted at Kollective Coffee+Tea in Hot Springs, Arkansas – also hosts a virtual slam via Facebook, upholding the tradition they have held since 1989.

For writers looking to enhance their skills, Bowery Poetry has been hosting writing sessions on Wednesdays via Instagram Live. Across the nation, poets are writing and organizing to keep the craft of poetry alive. With all the time and pent-up emotions from staying home, now is the perfect time to write a poem. 

National Poetry Month couldn’t have come at a better time. Writing poetry is a productive, creative and healthy way to cope with the chaos of life right now. Even if you are not into writing it is also a great time to read or listen to poems, finding comfort in the words of others who have faced struggles and overcome. 

The Academy of American Poets and Button Poetry have hundreds of poems archived on their websites just waiting to be read or heard by you! Some great poets to get you started are Billy Collins, Harry Baker and Sara Kay. The next time you have a few minutes to spare, Google some poets, grab a cup of coffee or tea and take a short break to appreciate the art of poetry.