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Cat in the Stax: Celebrating National Poetry Month


Tomorrow is not only April Fool’s Day, but also the first day of National Poetry Month! National Poetry Month is a way to recognize current and past poets while also exploring the poet inside of us all. Below are a handful of ways to celebrate National Poetry Month, whether you’re an avid poetry reader or new to the genre. 

Attend the 2021 Villanova University Literary Festival! Robin Coste Lewis, one of the Literary Festival’s featured speakers, will be on Zoom for a virtual reading and talk on Thursday, April 8 at 7 p.m. Coste Lewis is the poet laureate of Los Angeles. Hannah Khalil, playwright and the 2021 Charles A. Heimbold Jr. Chair for Irish Studies, will present a virtual talk on Thursday, April 15 at 5 p.m. Khalil’s work for stage includes A Museum in Baghdad, which opened at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Swan Theatre in 2019, Interference for The National Theatre of Scotland, The Scar Test for Soho Theatre and Scenes from 68* Years for the Arcola. 

These ACS-approved events, co-sponsored by the English Department, the Creative Writing Program, the Honors Program, Africana Studies, Global Interdisciplinary Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, the Center for Irish Studies, and Falvey Memorial Library, are free and open to the public. You can find more information about the events and register to attend here

Listen to a poem a day. The Academy of American Poets releases a podcast called Poem-a-Day where you can listen to just that, a poem a day. Most of the poems are under 10 minutes long and perfect to listen to while walking around campus between classes.  

Go back to your childhood poetry roots. When I think about where my awareness of poetry started, I’m instantly transported back to my childhood bedroom where I’d sit and read Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends. His collection of sketches and poems contains not only comedic poetry for kids, but also wisdom for adults of any age. Pick it up from Falvey’s collection and enjoy the nostalgia!

Create your own poems. One way to stir your own creativity is to put a bunch of words into a jar and then pick three out and try to make a poem. Doing this with your friends and family may help you recognize the poet inside of youor at least produce a laugh or two!

Do you have favorite poets that you’re going to be reading this month? Let us know in the comments! I’m always looking for new recommendations.

jenna newman headshotJenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department.

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Last Modified: March 31, 2021

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