I’ve been so distracted by taxes and paperwork (and am grateful that April 15th is over — at least this year), that I’ve missed 17 days of National Poetry Month.

According to POETS.ORG: “Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month is now held every April, when schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets throughout the United States band together to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture. Thousands of organizations participate through readings, festivals, book displays, workshops, and other events.”

The Academy of American Poets lists 30 ways to celebrate National Poetry Month on this page. Suggestions include “Celebrate a Poem in Your Pocket Day,” where you select a poem you love, carry it with you, and share it with coworkers, family, and friends, and “Put a Poem on the Pavement,” where you write a poem in chalk on the street. In most places the chalk would wash away within a few days — but here in desert-dry Los Angeles, your poem may last for a year! And if any of our readers wish to “Put a Poem on the Pavement” and take a photo of the verse(s), we will publish the picture on this blog! You have about two more weeks to do so! 

Tonight, April 17, 2013, the American Academy of Poets will celebrate National Poetry Month with “Poetry and the Creative Mind,” a gala event to honor the role of contemporary poetry in American culture. Tickets for this fundraiser are still available at the Lincoln Center website. (And, getting back to my original thought about tax day, the $45 seat should be deductible!)

National Poetry Month 2013 Poster by Jessica Helfand