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April is National Poetry Month

The caged bird sings with
A fearful trill of things unknown
But longed for still and his
Tune is heard on the distant hill
For the caged bird sings of freedom. 
 

Maya AngelouRobert Frost.  Walt Whitman.  Shel SilversteinSylvia PlathAllen Ginsberg.  John MiltonEmily Dickinson.  William Blake.  Anne BradstreetBilly Collins

Just a few of the greatest and most popular English-language poets ever to put quill to parchment.  Their names remind us to celebrate National Poetry Month in April 2013.

Conceived in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets, National Poetry Month is a month-long, national celebration of poetry that hopes to "increase the visibility and availability of poetry in popular culture while acknowledging and celebrating poetry’s ability to sustain itself in the many places where it is practiced and appreciated."

Celebrate by checking out a book of poetry, digging into how poems are put together, watching other poets in action, and even taking part in Norman Public Library's 17th Annual Poetry Writing Contest, which invites poets from 6th grade to adulthood to enter.

The Poets' Corner: The One-And-Only Poetry Book For The Whole Family compiled by John Lithgow

From listening to his grandmother recite epic poems from memory to curling up in bed while his father read funny verses, award-winning actor John Lithgow grew up with poetry. Ever since, John has been an enthusiastic seeker of poetic experience, whether reading, reciting, or listening to great poems.  William Blake, Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe, and Dylan Thomas are just a few names among Lithgow's comprehensive list of poetry masters.

 

The Poetry Home Repair Manual: Practical Advice For Beginning Poets by Ted Kooser

Kooser, the 13th U.S. Poet Laureate, has been writing and publishing poetry for more than forty years. In these pages, Kooser brings those decades of experience to bear. Here are tools and insights, the instructions (and warnings against instructions) that poets--aspiring or practicing--can use to hone their craft, perhaps into art. 

 

SlamNation: The Sport of Spoken Word

Before Russell Simmons' Def Poety Jam, SlamNation captured the cutthroat world of spoken-word poetry. The film follows Saul Williams and three other top poets as they make their way to the National Poetry Slam, the Super Bowl of poetry.

 

Tyger Tyger, Burning Bright: Much-Loved Poems You Half-Remember compiled by Ana Sampson

Great poetry 'finds its way to the hearts of many, not just the minds of the few', and this delightful collection is the ideal way to browse, remember and enjoy some of poetry's greatest hits . Contains verses from more than eighty of the world's favourite poets, from the thirteenth century to the present day, each poem set in context with a lively introduction and entertaining notes on the poets themselves. each poem set in context with a lively introduction and entertaining notes on the poets themselves. each poem set in context with a lively introduction and entertaining notes on the poets themselves.  each poem set in context with a lively introduction and entertaining notes on the poets themselves.

 

Pizza, Pigs And Poetry: How To Write A Poem by Jack Prelutsky

Have you ever tried to write a poem about a pizza? How about a pig, Ping-Pong, parrot, puppy, pelican, porcupine, pie, pachyderm, or your parents? Jack Prelutsky has written more than 1,000 poems about all of these things--and many others. Here he gives you the inside scoop on writing poetry and shows how to turn your own experiences and stories about your family, your pets, and your friends into poems. 

 

The Oxford Book Of Comic Verse edited by John Gross 

From limericks to social satire, this volume offers a remarkable collection of outstanding light poetry. Editor Gross has brought together the finest writers in the history of the English language - from Chaucer and Skelton to Shakespeare and Swift, Lord Byron to Robert Browning, Emily Dickinson to John Updike, as well as witty song lyrics from such artists as Irving Berlin and Cole Porter - offering delightful examples of their comic verse.  

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