Celebrate Poetry Month by Reading Poetry
The Academy of American Poets actually has 30 ideas for your Poetry Month celebration plans. One of them is to subscribe to the Academy’s poetry series, Poem-a-Day. You can receive your daily poetry fix by email or through the online site. If you need more than one new poem per day, there are other poem-a-day sites, including Poetry Daily.
Of course, we have plenty to offer the reader and writer of poetry here at CCPL. Online, the best database we have to access new and old poetry is The Literary Resource Center, which makes it easy to search through thousands of classic poems online. Surprisingly, to me, The Literary Resource Center offers online access to poems in journals I’d normally expect to drive to a university library to read, such as Parnassus, Beloit Poetry Journal, The Antioch Review, and Chicago Review. All you need is a library card.
In print, we also have many collections of poetry; you’ll find them primarily but not exclusively in the Dewey Decimal 808 – 812 section. Browsing our catalog will lead you to a wide variety of collections: poems by one writer (After: poems, by Jane Hirshfield) or by many (Good Poems for Hard Times, selected and introduced by Garrison Keillor). We also have a large collection of books of poetry written primarily for children (The Bill Martin Jr. Big Book of Poetry).
If you’re looking for ideas, the Library has plenty of resources on poetry writing and inspiration; for example:
- The Book of Forms, by Lewis Turco
- Poetry Matters: Writing a Poem from the Inside Out, by Robert Fletcher
- Poetry as Spiritual Practice, by Robert McDowell
- Poetry for Dummies
Sharing Your Work
If you’re interested in sharing your poetry with other writers, consider attending the Williamsburg Branch Library’s Creative Writing Group (513-724-1070), which meets every second and fourth Thursday from 10:30 to noon. The River City Writers’ Group meets the first and third Monday of each month from 6-7:45 at the New Richmond Branch (513-553-0570).
There are many other area writers’ groups, as well as online groups–so many, that my best recommendation would be just to do Google search, check out the details, and find one you like. If you’d like to specialize, you’ll find groups dedicated to teen poets, Christian poets, limerick writers, poets over 50, rappers, creators of haiku, and many, many more.
Submitting your Work
Once you’ve got a few poems–or better still, a few hundred–and are ready to submit your work for publication, you’ll find a great resource in Poet’s Market, which describes thousands of print and online journals that publish poetry. Online, you can check out the Poets & Writers database to find potential markets for your work. The Library also subscribes to The Writer’s Digest magazine, which provides advice and inspiration for writers of all levels of experience. What is poetry? You may ask? Carl Sandburg, perhaps, defined it most clearly when he said, “Poetry is an Echo, asking a shadow to dance.”