Friday, April 25, 2014

Week #3 & #4, National Poetry Month

     For the uninitiated, there exists many poetic forms in the reading world: To name a few––Haiku, Triolet, Concrete, Acrostic, Ballad, Sonnet, Prose, Sestina, Villanelle, Confessional, Free Verse––and the list continues as you walk the courses of time and country. I enjoy discovering new forms, and yes, new forms appear with frequency.
     Within this National Poetry Month, I found this new form: Book Spine Poetry.
     It started in 1993 with Nina Katchadourian's Sorted Books Project. Katchadourian began collecting interesting titles and arranging them in clusters so the spines could be read like a sentence. Maria Popova of Brain Picking adapted the spine sentences into poetry, and the idea quickly spread. Googling the topic will bring you pages of entries to consider. View Forbes Library, which conducts annual Book Spine Poetry Contests for a myriad of results.
     I challenged my writing group to come up with some of their own. They found it wasn't as easy as it first appeared, but did find it an interesting and fun concept. Here are two from my hand.

Below is the Forbes Library 2013 winner in the Adult Category by Linda Eve Diamond.

     The last few weeks have been personal busy/busy––all in good ways. However, it meant I would have to compress two Blog weeks into one. Book Spine Poetry addresses the third week of National Poetry Month, and for this last week of a wonderful poetry-reading month, I inform you that from the purchase of poetry books I recently bought from The Book Exchange (see Week #2, NPM)––I delved into Collected Poems of Sylvia Plath.
     I am an Apiarist. Imagine my surprise when I found that beekeeping was the subject of many of her poems. (Plath's father and her husband (Ted Hughes) kept bees.)
     What about you trying your hand at Book Spine Poetry? I've provided means of finding what's it's all about––so go ahead, try it. As the saying goes, you might like it.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Week #2/National Poetry Month

     Today I visited one of my favorite haunts in Palm Beach Gardens––The Book Exchange & Comic Book Store––on Northlake Boulevard in North Palm Beach, Florida.
     It's been a few months since I pushed through their single-entry door, and now as always I take care my entrance because immediately I face book stands, shelves, and glass-fronted cases––some with first-edition or antique books. I set my iPhone's timer to one hour for browsing, realizing that's not nearly enough time for walking up and down, around and behind their plethora of used books. Genres and subjects are marked on shelf edges, and children's and young adults' literature have their respective nooks. From wall hooks, straw baskets hang for the customer's convenience of stashing finds from among the narrow alleys. I search for a deep and wide basket because I favor hardbacks, which take up more space and have more heft than paperbacks.
     Today I headed for the poetry section, to continue tipping my hat to April's designation as National Poetry Month. Whoa! What a motherlode I found. What a motherlode I bought. To wit:

  • Haiku: This Other World by Richard Wright
  • The Mail from Anywhere by Brad Leithauser
  • Essays and Poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Selected Poems of May Sarton, ed. SSHilsinger/LBrynes
  • Collected Poems of Sylvia Plath, ed. Ted Hughes
  • Karol Wojtyla: Collected Poems, translated by JPeterkiewicz
  • The Oxford Book of Garden Verse, and 
  • Vignettes in Violet by Marion Perham Gale, dated 1928.
     I'll be busy for awhile, doing you-know-what. I promise I'll not be tempted to stray from my New Year's promise of reading catch-up from last year. Believe that, and it's a belated April Fool's on you, my dear readers.  Smile.

Friday, April 4, 2014

National Poetry Month

    April is National Poetry Month as designated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. During April's thirty days, schools, poets, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and festivals are encouraged to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture.
     I read what the Academy had to say about this month's event, and was pleased to find a suggested list of thirty things we can do to celebrate poetry. A really good list, I might add, so check out from the Academy of American Poets to find one or more areas you can incorporate into your salute of this wonderful genre.
     For myself, I was drawn to postage stamps featuring the image of an American poet. On further reading, I found the idea of petitioning the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee something good, sustaining, and rooted. To be eligible, the notice reads, suggested poets must have been deceased for at least ten years, and must be American or of American descent. It's definitely worth checking into, and I'll keep you posted (no pun intended).
     It's worth checking out (linked above) for your take on what you might find as a creative way to enjoy and promote April as National Poetry Month.