Celebrate National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month, and 2021 marks the 25th anniversary of this annual celebration of poets and poetry. It is the largest literary celebration globally and is intended to remind us that poetry plays a vital role in our culture and our lives. But what is poetry anyway? By definition, poetry is "writing that formulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience in language chosen and arranged to create a specific emotional response through meaning, sound, and rhythm." In other words, poetry allows the writer to play with words to make the reader feel something.  

When we read poetry, we explore words and feelings. Poetry can make you think about yourself and the world around you in completely new ways. You might laugh, cry, or walk away feeling inspired. When we write poetry, we permit ourselves to break the rules. Things like sentence structure, capitalization, and margins can be used however we like to convey our message.

Writer Chris Harris describes writing poetry as finger painting with words. I love the image of getting your hands dirty and creating something messy and beautiful. Reading and writing poetry can be a creative, therapeutic experience and it helps us better understand ourselves and others. It's something that people of all ages can enjoy, and for the record, it can also be fun. 

One of the ways that we celebrate National Poetry Month at Stark Library is with our Annual Poetry Contest. This contest has been going strong for 22 years, and we hope you will share your talents with us! We're accepting entries until April 30, and multiple winners will be chosen. Check out some of our previous winners for inspiration!

Entering our contest is just one of many ways that you can celebrate National Poetry Month. You can also: 

I want to leave you with one of my favorite poems from "I'm Just No Good at Rhyming And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups" by Chris HarrisThis book is hilarious and insightful; I can't recommend it enough. Enjoy! 

Live Each Day Like It's Your Last 

"Live each day like it's your last!" 
 I heard my teacher cry. 
 And so I spend my whole day screaming, 
 My mama wailed! 
 My papa railed! 
 My friends all wept with sorrow... 
 Teachers right- that sure was fun! 
 I'll do it more tomorrow! 

If you're interested in learning more, you can find poetry, information, inspiration, and more here!