I look forward to each April, when libraries around the US celebrate National Poetry Month. I share poetry with students throughout the year, but it's so much fun to shed special light on poetry each spring. Today I'd like to share a few resources that I particularly love.
on Gotta Book
Head to the fantastic blog Gotta Book for original poems from 30 different poets throughout the month of April. Greg Pincus has celebrated National Poetry Month for the past FIVE years, sharing poems from a wonderful array of poets. I've signed up for the poems to be delivered to me by email each day - what a lovely way to start my day! This lets me share them with all sorts of people. Here's the beginning of a recent favorite poem:
Immigrant's Song: Coal Dust, Peppers, and TomatoesAnother blog that I enjoy reading throughout the year is Poetry for Children, a blog written by Sylvia Vardell. Sylvia is a professor and author of the ALA bestseller Poetry Aloud Here, also Poetry People, Children’s Literature in Action and the nationally recognized blog, Poetry For Children, as well as co-editor of the first digital anthologies of poetry for young people, the PoetryTagTime series.
Nancy Bo Flood
I come from coal dust
And hopes taken down, down, down
Deep mine shaft down underground.
Dig hard, spend lean, save, save, save,
Before the shaft fills and dreams drown.
for more, see the whole poem at Gotta Book
When We Were Very Young to Langston Hughes' The Dream Keeper. Then she ties in all sorts of contemporary poetry collections that you'll want to find.
Take the time to explore the interviews Sylvia has done with poets over the years. Last year she featured an interview with a different poet throughout the month of April. I don't think I can choose a favorite - there are so many wonderful interviews with the likes of Douglas Florian, Jane Yolen, Helen Frost and more!
The poetry e-books PoetryTagTime and P*Tag are excellent collections. I especially love the way they convey that poetry is a living, vital art, one that real people are creating in response to one another's art. As the description for PoetryTagTime says, "PoetryTagTime is a chain of poets and poems that makes language part of a playful game. When a poet is tagged, that poet must write a poem that connects with the previous poem. Part of the fun is the poet’s explanation of the sometimes whimsical “connection” between the two poems." P*Tag is a collection for teens where poets create poems in response to photographs. I've seen this collection really inspire teens writing their own poetry, based on photographs or images they see in the world around them.
Poem Starter VideosPoet Laura Salas has created a great resource to give teachers a quick and simple poetry activity for the classroom. As she writes, "These are quick and casual and done for fun. I’ll also be posting the text of each poem each day. So you can use these posts just to find a delicious daily poem to read, or you can watch the video with your students and start writing!" I've had fun sharing these with teachers and friends.
by Laura Salas
Drawing into PoemsAmy is a poet and former teacher who shares many original poems on her lovely blog Poem Farm. Some poems are hers, others are by students in her workshops. This month Amy is featuring Drawing into Poems. As she writes, "Each day of this month, I will slow myself down, look closely at something, draw it, and take notes around my drawing. I'll photograph and share the drawing and notes here each day. From time-to-time, at least on Fridays, I'll share a poem inspired by my drawings and notes." I love this notion of poetry inspiring us to slow down and notice details around us.
by Amy VanDerwater
For more resources to share during National Poetry Month, check out this compilation by Jama Rattigan's blog post on Alphabet Soup, where she has pulled together many different suggestions. And certainly follow the weekly celebration on the Kidlitosphere of Poetry Friday. This month, the hosts are:
- Read, Write, Howl--April 5, 2013
- Random Noodling--April 12, 2013
- Live Your Poem...--April 19, 2013
- Writing the World for Kids--April 26, 2013
Review ©2013 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books