Eight ways to celebrate National Poetry Month virtually

Cherry blossoms against a blue sky

Spring has come to Columbia, Maryland, and we should all be out enjoying the warmer weather, soaking in the beautiful blossoms that have sprung up around the region, and enjoying the many live events that were scheduled to mark National Poetry Month. Instead, we’re staying inside, maybe going for a safely distant walk every now and again, and looking for ways to connect virtually.

But no matter what fear and uncertainty reign outside, literature is there to provide solace. And luckily, there are many ways to celebrate National Poetry Month — and literary creativity in general — virtually. We’ve compiled just a few below. This is by no means an exhaustive list — let us know if there are any that we should add!

  1. Check out 30 ways to celebrate National Poetry Month online, compiled by the Academy of American Poets. To name just a few, you can sign up to receive a poem a day in your email inbox, listen to a poetry podcast, or try your hand at different poetry prompts.
  2. Attend a virtual poetry reading. Poets.org makes it easy to search for events by state, but the beauty of virtual events is that you can “attend” readings anywhere. The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland is offering many of its programs online and Imminent Readings streams poetry readings every Sunday at 5:30 pm. For general literary events, check out Literary Hub’s Virtual Book Channel and DC independent bookstore Politics and Prose’s calendar of streamed author talks.
  3. Get inspired with writing prompts. NaPoWriMo is offering daily poetry prompts for the month of April, or you can sign up to receive daily creative prompts from various artists and authors through The Isolation Journals.
  4. Take a virtual tour of the Library of Congress. The Library’s website has virtual tours of several current exhibits, in case you need further proof that libraries are wonderful. The Library is also partnering with the Washington Post on “The Poetry of Home,” a video series that features four US poets talking about what home means to them in this moment. First up is current US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo.
  5. Listen to Sir Patrick Stewart read you Shakespeare’s sonnets. Need we say more? Stewart began posting videos of himself reading a sonnet a day on his Twitter on March 22. It is delightful in every way.
  6. Watch the second season of Poetry in America. The show, which airs on public television, brings together a multitude of public figures to dig into some of America’s best-loved poems and poets. The first season is also available to stream.
  7. Follow your favorite poets on social media. A great place to start is the International Poetry Circle, an effort from poet Tara Skurtu that features videos from poets and poetry lovers.
  8. Share your poems with us on social media using the hashtag #LPRUplifts. We’ll be sharing some of our favorite poems on Facebook and Twitter all month, and would love to see your original work or a favorite poem that speaks to you.

How are you celebrating National Poetry Month remotely this year?

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