Poetry Foundation Celebrates National Poetry Month
CHICAGO – The Poetry Foundation is pleased to announce an exciting array of literary programs and poetry events across the country in celebration of National Poetry Month, April 2013.
Fifty thousand free copies of Poetry’s April 2013 issue will be distributed to individuals, classrooms, and reading groups around the world in celebration of National Poetry Month. In the April issue, readers find new poetry from Eavan Boland, Jane Hirshfield, Jamaal May, Dean Young, as well as poems by Adam Kirsch inspired by accompanying photographs. In a commemorative installment of “A Few More Don’ts”—one hundred years after Ezra Pound’s original “A Few Don’ts by an Imagiste” appeared in Poetry’s March 1913 issue—William Logan, Marjorie Perloff, and Sina Queyras offer their own guidelines for poets. Readers can find the entire April issue of Poetry online as of April 1, along with the accompanying discussion guide and the magazine podcast. A downloadable PDF of the April issue is also available, perfect for laptops, tablets, or e-readers.
Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute
The Poetry Foundation’s Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute has partnered with McSweeney’s to publish two new titles for readers, writers, teachers, and travelers. In an effort to bring the joy of poetry to students, Open the Door: How to Excite Young People About Poetry, edited by Dorothea Lasky, Dominic Luxford, and Jesse Nathan, offers essays, interviews, and lesson plans. The Strangest of Theatres: Poets Writing Across Borders, edited by Jared Hawkley, Susan Rich, and Brian Turner, explores how poets can serve as international envoys and revitalize American poetry in the process. These books will be released on April 9, 2013, and are currently available on the Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute website, along with a range of free educational resources.
Anyone can record and share their favorite poems through the Poetry Foundation's Record-a-Poem project. Participants choose poems from the more than 10,000 available through the Poetry Foundation, then record and post them to the Record-a-Poem group on Soundcloud. Learn more about the project.
Harriet: The Blog
The Poetry Foundation’s blog, Harriet, will host 20 poets during the month of April, including Mary Jo Bang, Timothy Donnelly, Cornelius Eady, K. Silem Mohammad, Paisley Rekdal, Evie Shockley, and Bianca Stone. Poets will engage in a lively month-long conversation about poetry, poetics, and the poetry blogosphere. This is the fourth year the blog will host a National Poetry Month discussion. Follow the conversation.
The Poetry Foundation presents a series of events throughout National Poetry Month, many of which are free:
- Monday, April 8, at 8:15pm at the 92nd Street Y in New York, Poetry contributors Frank Bidart, Thomas Sayers Ellis, Mary Karr, Marie Ponsot, Atsuro Riley, and Charles Wright will celebrate 100 years of Poetry magazine in an anniversary reading with editors Christian Wiman and Don Share. The poets and editors will select poems from the magazine’s centennial anthology, The Open Door: 100 Poems, 100 Years of Poetry Magazine.
- Saturday, April 13, at 7pm, the Poetry Foundation celebrates Spanish-language poetry with poets Coral Bracho and Juan Carlos Mestre as part of the month-long Poesía en Abril festival.
- Wednesday, April 16, at 6:30pm, Marge Piercy and Ira Wood read from their work, followed by a reception.
- Thursday, April 25, tickets go on sale for the world premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s Songfest. The concert will take place Thursday, July 4, at Ravinia in Highland Park, Illinois.
- Thursday, April 25, at 7pm, award-winning Australian poet and editor Les Murray reads from his work.
- Saturday, April 27, at 2pm, Campbell McGrath delivers the keynote reading for this year’s Chicago Public Library Poetry Fest at the Chicago Public Library, 400 South State Street. Admission to McGrath’s reading is free, with seating on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Sunday, April 28, to Tuesday, April 30, the Poetry Foundation and the NEA present the National Finals of Poetry Out Loud. Fifty-three high school students recite poetry in three semifinal rounds based on geographic region. Viewers across the country can tune in for a live webcast at www.arts.gov.
Except where noted, events take place at the Poetry Foundation, 61 West Superior Street. Visit the Poetry Foundation website for the full events schedule.
On Friday, April 19, the monthly Library Book Club continues its monthly discussions with Kevin Young’s To Repel Ghosts: The Remix. On Saturday, April 20, the Poetry Foundation Library will extend its regular hours and will open to the public from 10am to 2pm. Visitors can browse a collection of nearly 30,000 books of poetry, including 3,000 books especially for children. The Library is also open during regular weekday hours of 11am to 4pm. Weekly Poemtime, for children ages three to five, takes place each Wednesday at 10am. Visit the Poetry Foundation website for the full events schedule.
Joan Mitchell: At Home in Poetry will be on display throughout the month of April in the Poetry Foundation gallery. Abstract Expressionist painter Joan Mitchell (1925–1992) was born and raised in Chicago, and her mother, Marion Strobel, was associate editor at Poetry magazine. Poetry was fundamental to Mitchell’s sensibility and to her paintings, and many of her closest personal and professional relationships were with poets. This exhibition, which includes the large-scale quadriptych painting Minnesota (1980), as well as photographs, letters, and books of poems illustrated by Mitchell, will explore her relationships and collaborations with poets including John Ashbery, Bill Berkson, Nathan Kernan, Frank O’Hara, and Mitchell’s mother. School groups wishing to tour the exhibition should contact firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a visit. The gallery is free and open to the public on weekdays, 11am to 4pm.
American Life in Poetry
April 2013 marks the eighth anniversary of American Life in Poetry, a project that regularly delivers free poetry content to newspapers around the country. Founded by former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser, American Life in Poetry regularly runs in newspapers across the country and is published in a range of Internet outlets. Over the last seven years the column has featured more than 300 poets, including award-winning poets Wendell Berry, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Kay Ryan. The column not only brings contemporary poetry to a wider audience but also restores poetry’s traditional place in newspapers, where the column is well received by regular readers.
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About the Poetry Foundation
The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative partnerships, prizes, and programs. For more information, please visit poetryfoundation.org.
About Poetry Magazine
Founded in Chicago by Harriet Monroe in 1912, Poetry is the oldest monthly devoted to verse in the English-speaking world. Monroe’s “Open Door” policy, set forth in Volume 1 of the magazine, remains the most succinct statement of Poetry’s mission: to print the best poetry written today, in whatever style, genre, or approach. The magazine established its reputation early by publishing the first important poems of T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens, H.D., William Carlos Williams, Carl Sandburg, and other now-classic authors. In succeeding decades it has presented—often for the first time—works by virtually every major contemporary poet.
About the Poetry Foundation Library
The Midwest’s only library dedicated exclusively to poetry, the Poetry Foundation Library exists to promote the reading of poetry among the general public, and to support the editorial needs of all Poetry Foundation programs and staff. Visitors to the library may browse a collection of 30,000 volumes, experience audio and video recordings in private listening booths, and view exhibits of poetry-related materials. In addition to providing public access to its collections in the form of a reading room, the library creates interactive programs to inspire a wider readership for poetry in readers of all ages. The library’s collection aims to present the best poetry, in English or in translation, of the modern and contemporary era, as well as including representative selections of the major poetic works of all eras. A children’s collection contains a range of titles to engage young readers.
About the Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute
The Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute is an independent forum created to provide a space in which fresh thinking about poetry, in both its intellectual and its practical needs, can flourish free of any allegiance other than to the best ideas. With this in mind, the Institute convenes leading poets, scholars, publishers, educators, and other thinkers from inside and outside the poetry world to address issues of importance to the art form of poetry and to identify and champion solutions for the benefit of the art.
POETRY FOUNDATION | 61 West Superior Street | Chicago, IL 60654 | 312.787.7070
Media contact: Kristin Gecan, 312.799.8065; email@example.com