Poem on the Range

April 5, 2010 at 4:12 am 2 comments

Not only will we soon be celebrating National Library Week (April 11-17, 2010) but April is also National Poetry Month!  The event, inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, is now held every April, when publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools and poets around the country band together to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture.  It is heartening to see thousands of businesses and non-profit organizations participate through readings, festivals, book displays, workshops, and other events that pay homage to literacy and the beauty and impact of language.

Since it’s still the beginning of April, you can sign up for Poets.org’s Poem-A-Day and through the magic of e-mail, you will receive one new poem daily throughout the month. The poems have been selected from new poetry titles published in the spring.

One intriguing new initiative associated with National Poetry Month is “Poem on the Range” an ongoing collaborative multimedia-mapping project that challenges readers to contribute their views of poetry in the world. Individuals are asked to contribute to a map that includes videos or photos of poetic landmarks, cities, dwellings, streets, roadside ephemera, and other places immortalized by iconic poems and poets. You can even take video of yourself reading the poem while at the site and then download it to the Poem on the Range Flickr Group, or add it to their Google map. Right now there’s not very much posted from the West Coast, so find your inner poetry maven and share your love of verse.

This year is also the centennial of the Poetry Society of America, the oldest poetry organization in the United States. Their website has profiles of poets and samples of their poetry.

With Earth Day (April 22) also celebrated this month, it seems fitting that one of the country’s leading poetry centers, Poet’s House, is focusing on the natural world with a series of events, “Ecopoetic Futures,” that examine poetry and the environment. While Poet’s House is located in Lower Manhattan and is probably not in your immediate travel plans, you can still enjoy a sampling of ecopoetry by reading from the poetry collections of the Torrance Public Library. Try sampling some of the following poets whose work often focuses on the natural world:
Diane Ackerman
Joseph Bruchac
Mark Doty
Jorie Graham
Robert Hass
Pattiann Rogers

There are also several Southern California events that feature the celebration of poets and poetry that you may enjoy:

Souls and Passions, the Poets of Los Angeles a photography exhibit featuring pictures of notable Los Angeles poets taken by photographer Mark Savage. The exhibit, located at Buena Park City Hall, will run from March 2nd through April 29th, 2010. Visitors are welcome Monday through Thursday and the last Friday of every month, from 7:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

National Poetry Month Celebration
April 24, 2010, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
San Pedro Public Library,
Ninth St. and Gaffey St., San Pedro, CA
Several well-known local, published and unpublished poets will read from their original poems.

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, a two-day literary event featuring hundreds of authors (including poets). The Poetry Stage features tent readings all day; UCLA campus, free festival admission, however tickets with a seventy-five cent service fee are required for indoor panels and speakers parking $9, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 (tickets: ticketmaster.com or ticket booth onsite)

For other poetry events throughout the year, try consulting the Poetry Flash website (you can also visit their booth at the LA Times Festival of Books). The site lists workshops and readings in addition to its calendar of events.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. torrancepubliclibrary  |  April 12, 2010 at 5:33 am

    In case you are wondering where to find reviews of poetry, here’s a sprinkling of sources to consult:

    Constant Critic http://www.constantcritic.com
    On this site, you’ll find reviews that keep poetry vital as well as reviews that enrich the reader’s experience of poetry.

    Ron Silliman’s blog http://ronsilliman.blogspot.com/

    Beatrice blog http://www.beatrice.com/wordpress/
    categories – poetry

    Boston Review http://www.bostonreview.net
    poetry and poetry reviews

    You can also read standard library or bookseller’s magazines such as:
    Library Journal
    Publisher’s Weekly

    or specialized magazines:
    American Book Review
    Rain Taxi

    Reply
  • 2. Torrance Public Library  |  October 8, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Several major poetry awards were announced recently. Major Galway Kinnell has been selected as the recipient of the 2010 Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets. The $100,000 prize recognizes outstanding and proven mastery in the art of poetry. Khaled Mattawa has been selected as the recipient of the 2010 Academy Fellowship. The Fellowship is awarded once a year to a poet for distinguished poetic achievement and provides a stipend of $25,000. The Academy’s Board of Chancellors, a body of fifteen eminent poets, selects the Wallace Stevens Award and Academy Fellowship recipients.

    Check out the website Poets.org (the Academy of American Poets) for a wealth of information on poets and poetry!

    Reply

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