In the middle of grading and spring breaks and grading and lesson planning, I completely forgot that April was coming! Okay, not April–I do have calendars and such–but April is also National Poetry Month! Exciting for teachers and writers alike! Last year I was more organized in my celebratory efforts, and this year, it got totally away from me, so I’m thinking of how to celebrate this year.
Here are the options I’m considering:
* giving my students an extra-credit opportunity by asking them to choose a poem and doing some kind of public poetry project with it. The opportunities are many: posting poems in public places, making a poem poster, greeting card or bookmark, adding a poem to their email signature for the month of April, reading one aloud at our morning meetings, or even printing the poem (or a portion of it) on a t-shirt and wearing it out. I was inspired by the Poem In Your Pocket ideas, and I would require the students to submit their event on the Academy of American Poets website. If they read it aloud somewhere, I will send them to Billy Collins on reading aloud.
* for myself, I’m thinking of trying the Poem-A-Day challenge again, through the Poetic Asides blog, which offers a prompt per day throughout the month, as well as the chance to submit your five best poems for recognition. I did this last year and had such a fantastic experience, and it dovetails well with my writing goals for the year. So why not do it again? Because I’m weary and exhausted, mentally, and I just don’t feel the juice. But then, of course, that is the reason I feel like I should do it, because I feel better when I feel creatively energized, and maybe this will kick-start me into it.
The real question remains, can I whip something up to get both of these ideas launched when April 1st is a mere two days away, and submitting my third quarter grades and comments lurks between me and that day like a sea monster? Stay tuned, my friends. I’ll keep you posted.
ETA: Check out Tammy’s treasure trove entry for many more great ideas, including another poem-a-day challenge! I don’t know now which I would like to try–what if the prompts on one are more to my liking than the other? I may just do the challenge for myself and keep the poems in my own files instead of posting them anywhere, so I can pick and choose from the prompts–but then I lose the community feeling and the accountability. Hmmmm. Decisions, decisions.