What is National Poetry Month?
National Poetry Month is a month-long, national celebration of poetry established by the Academy of American Poets. The concept is to widen the attention of individuals and the media—to the art of poetry, to living poets, to our complex poetic heritage, and to poetry books and journals of wide aesthetic range and concern.
Who started it?
The Academy of American Poets has led this initiative from its inception in 1996 and along the way has enlisted a variety of government agencies and officials, educational leaders, publishers, sponsors, poets, and arts organizations to help.
Why was April chosen for National Poetry Month?
In coordination with poets, booksellers, librarians, and teachers, the Academy chose a month when poetry could be celebrated with the highest level of participation. Inspired by the successful celebrations of Black History Month (February) and Women's History Month (March), and on the advice of teachers and librarians, April seemed the best time within the year to turn attention toward the art of poetry—in an ultimate effort to encourage poetry readership year-round.
What are the goals of National Poetry Month?
• Highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets
• Introduce more Americans to the pleasures of reading poetry
• Bring poets and poetry to the public in immediate and innovative ways
• Make poetry a more important part of the school curriculum
• Increase the attention paid to poetry by national and local media
• Encourage increased publication, distribution, and sales of poetry books
• Increase public and private philanthropic support for poets and poetry