National Poetry Month. NPM is a month-long, national celebration of poetry established by the Academy of American Poets. By national, the Academy mean US, but I'll take any excuse to spend a bit more time writing, reading and talking poetry, besides, I can be an American poet if American poets are required.
Why? If you need a reason for something called Poetry Month, it's about giving greater exposure to the art of poetry - increasing visibility and availability and discussion. Who could argue with that? For me, immersing myself in poetry is the most pleasurable indulgence (even better than eating almonds) and I'm always up for it.
What am I doing to celebrate it? If you follow this blog, you'll know that this Saturday at 2pm, at the Newcastle Writers Festival I'll be talking about the State of Australian Poetry with some of Australia's biggest, brightest poetry stars. Some of us are indeed migrants and all of us do a lot of writing about "place". The notion of what constitutes both a national and a regional voice in poetry will certainly be one of the many topics we'll be discussing. This is a free session and everyone is welome to join us. Check out the NWF link above for timings (and you can also join me at 1pm at Sprockets Cafe where I'll be reading a few poems from my new book Sublime Planet which reached #1 last week in Amazon UK for conservation books and afterwards where I'll be chatting about Why we Read with the wonderful Ramona Koval).
I'd love to join the many NaPoWriMo folk who are writing a poem a day this month, but along with everything else going on, I've got a novel in progress and don't want to mess with my schedule for that as I actually find writing poetry more pleasurable than writing fiction (don't tell anyone) and would be all too easily distracted away, however, I'll commit to one poem a week this month, though I might submit them somewhere just for fun rather than put them up here. However, I'll check in with title and overview just to keep myself honest.
What will you do to celebrate it? There are many ways you can celebrate. Join with me in writing a poem a week - it's not a lot to manage and you can check in with me and put a link or details about your poem in the comments. Let's do it together! Or you can read a poem a week. Or a poem a day. Or re-read a poem. If you want more 30 more ideas, check out the link that the Academy has put up here: http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/94.