Some Awesome April-is-Poetry Month Links + Two Silly Poems

NaPoMo is overwhelming. Here is a collection of things I’ve salvaged from the onslaught.

The Library of Congress is Uploading 75 Years of Poetry and Literature Recordings


Robert Frost

Yesterday selections from the Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature at the Library of Congress became available to stream online for the first time — the launch of a project digitizing some of their 2,000 recordings from the past 75 years of literature. “I think that reading poetry and prose on the page is important, but there’s nothing that can replace listening to literature read aloud, especially when it is read by the creator of the work.”

International Lit Mag Focuses on Dissidents, Exiles and Asking the Hard Questions


(Review of World Literature Today, March/April 2015 by Nichole Reber)

The Children’s Poetry StoryBox is a physical traveling box that was launched at The Thurber Center in February 2014 and has returned to Columbus, OH.

(I want to do this so much, but it will have to wait until another April….)

story box

At a reception at the Thurber House, you will hear poetry that was begun by famous children’s poets – including current poet laureate Ken Nesbitt, Jane Yule, Georgia Heard, Nikki Grimes, George Ella, Lyons, David Harrison, Alan Wolf – and finished by hundreds of primarily elementary students around the nation.

Shakespeare’s Sonnets, All 154, Reimagined Through A New York Lens

(Yes, really, all 154 sonnets, with video. Oh my.)


A crew filming Sonnet 108 at the John T. Brush stairway. Credit Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Mr. Williams tried matching sonnets with locations based on their “imagery and rhetorical arguments,” pairing, for example, the legal-minded Sonnet 46 with the State Supreme Court building. He mixed well-known locations, like Grand Central Terminal and the Unisphere, with less familiar ones, like the Holocaust memorial near Madison Square Park.

That’s enough for now. Whew. What a month.

I even wrote a poem, sort of a rant, really, actually two rant-like poems, very much the same. Here’s the second one.

Poetry About Race

If you’ve been following me on Facebook, you might have seen my posts about New York Times op-ed writer, Nicholas Kristof, and his call for poems about race.

Here are two articles that he’s written in response to the 300+ poems he received. The commentary is interesting, but the poems are wonderful. Angry, beautiful, hopeful, terrifying.

I don’t want to quote from the poems here, I want you to go and read them all. Then I think we should all get together and write our own. Soon.

A Request for Youth Poetry About Ferguson

In this New York Times article, read about a request (internationally!) for youth to write and share poetry in response to what happened in Ferguson, when unarmed black teenager Michael Brown was shot and killed by police, and the protests and violence that followed.

This project is produced by the Off/Page Project, which combines the analytical lens of The Center for Investigative Reporting with the groundbreaking storytelling of the literary nonprofit Youth Speaks. Living at the intersection of youth voice and civic engagement, the Off/Page Project provides a multimedia platform for young people to investigate the issues and stories that would otherwise be silenced.



Golf Poetry Through the Ages

In honor of my brother-in-law and my uncle, who both celebrate their birthdays today and love golf, I’m offering golf poetry on the Cupertino Poetry Exchange.

This New York Times article is a fascinating tale about the poetry written by golfers and golf enthusiasts. I have to say, I had absolutely no idea.

“People who wrote golf poetry were golfers, and they understood the perversities and intricacies of the game,” he added.

White’s book assembles 90 poems by 45 writers from England, Scotland and the United States, including himself. Among the highlights are works by the authors Arthur Conan Doyle and Rudyard Kipling, the golf course architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. and the sportswriter Grantland Rice.

Dr. Leon S White, the author of the book reviewed in the NY Times, Golf Course Rhymes, has a blog, at which you can read some of the most fun poems I’ve read all month. Here’s just a taste!

On Putting

When the greens were fast and freakish,
Once my putts were either weakish
Or absurdly strong.
Now I calmly snap my digits
For I play with Spaulding “Midgets,”
Not a putt goes wrong.

When a green’s too hard for others,
Have recourse to Spaulding Brothers!
Buy the perfect ball.
Architects may slope and ridge it,
But you’ll always hole a “Midget,”
And defeat them all.

Read the whole post in which Dr. White describes how this advertisement for Spaulding appeared in a 1914 issue of Golf Magazine and the poem’s relationship to Robert Frost.

Happy Birthday to my beloved family members and happy golfing to anyone who’s out enjoying spring this weekend.