April is National Poetry Month. In honor of that, I encourage all of you to read tons of poems and buy tons of poetry books. Poetry books are glamorous. In my opinion, you can connect more with the writer this way. If you read deep enough into the text and submerge yourself into what is written on the page, you can feel what they feel, as if you are living in their skin.
Spoken word artists and poets alike who have published books do an amazing job of spilling all of their guts onto the stages they frequent and the pages in which their words lie. They spill all their secrets, insecurities and issues they face on a day-to-day basis onstage and in their books. They don’t leave anything out, and when they share their hurt, pain or happiness with the world, you can’t help but feel with them.
In order for the words of the poets I follow to resonate with me, I either rewatch videos of them reciting their poems on YouTube platforms such as Button Poetry, Youth Speaks and Write About Now. I also buy their books and annotate the crap out of them.
To annotate a book means to add notes or comments to a text or something that is being studied or read. However, when I annotate, I do not add comments unless I am impelled to do so. Most times, I am not; instead, I underline words or phrases that trigger an emotion in me, or ones I find myself relating to.
Not to mention, when you annotate a poem, you will remember it so much more. Since you are specifically picking out words, stanzas or phrases that stick out to you, you will be much more likely to go back to that poem to read it again.
There are also a ton of things going on for National Poetry Month this year. Multiple poets are hosting Instagram lives, where they read from their chapbooks. Some poetry platforms such as Write About Now and Button Poetry are hosting poetry slams and open mic nights over Zoom and other social media platforms as well.
I also encourage you to participate in the 30 fo 30 challenge – or the 24 for 30 challenge, since we are already six days into April. This challenge is one that many poetry writers do. Basically, you write a poem everyday for the month of April. I try my best to do this challenge, and it has helped my creative writing and poetry tons. If you find yourself stuck on what to write, there are so many places to find poetry prompts. I just Google search for one and never cease to find a good prompt to write about!