address-book-2246457_1280National Poetry Month

I forgot that April is national poetry month.  When I worked as a children’s librarian in public libraries, we tied our book displays and programming to the event.

Because I am not a poet, I write poetry when I want to have fun with words.  Maybe poets do the same thing with prose when they need a break from their serious writing.

I also like to write poetry because the only person I am trying to please is myself.  As I work on my novel, I have to keep in mind all the rules of good writing, the expectations of the audience I am writing for, and the requirement of agents and editors.  I am free with poetry.  If I share a poem, I hope others will like, but if they don’t, that’s fine.

The event began in 1996, created by the Academy of American Poets.  While there’s still time, check out 30 Ways to Celebrate on the Academy’s site.

Even though I write poetry just for fun, I learn techniques I can apply to my prose writing when I read it.  My background as a children’s librarian has led me to read children’s poetry more than any other kind.  But I think a skilled poet can appeal to kids and adults in different ways with the same poem.  I’ll talk about what I have learned from reading poetry next time.