National Poetry Month Begins with Spine Poetry Challenge

It seems like each month, each day even, can be attributed to National something-or-other. In fact, the observances are as niche as Talk Like a Pirate Day on Septemb-arrrrr 19 (for those that accessorize with eye patches and a parrot on their shoulders), or Left Handers Day (for southpaws) on August 13. Don’t forget the recently celebrated Pi(e) Day (for the mathematical constant and flaky baked goods) on 3.14 – otherwise known as March 14. Seeds certainly enjoys an opportunity for silly celebration to lighten up an intense week of studying!

In April, we turn our attention to an observance of a more literary nature.

In 1996, the Academy of American Poets declared April to be National Poetry Month. Their goals:

  • Highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets
  • Encourage the reading of poems
  • Assist teachers in bringing poetry into their classrooms
  • Increase the attention paid to poetry by national and local media
  • Encourage increased publication and distribution of poetry books
  • Encourage support for poets and poetry

According to the group’s website, Poetry Month has become the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets celebrating poetry’s vital place in our culture.

Poetry frequently finds its way into the Seeds classroom, despite not being a huge part of high school equivalency (HSE) preparation. Last year, students presented poems for World Read Aloud Day (February 1). On April 18, Seeds East students were encouraged to celebrate Poem In Your Pocket Day, with the goal of sharing their favorite poetry with others wherever they went, and online using hashtag #pocketpoem.

This year, Seeds staffers were challenged to create poems using the spines of the many FREE BOOKS we have for students and visitors. Here’s what they came up with. They’ll be featured on social media throughout the month.

“We’ll fly away
out of the dark circle of shadows.
How perfect is that?
A wider tomorrow where you belong.” – Kara

“Ninth Street Women.
Nine perfect strangers, orphans of the carnival.
The Girls’ Guide to Hunting & Fishing.” – Kara

“What Remains,
after the Year of Magical Thinking,
is the Fog of Peace” – SV

“Audacious and resolute
The choice? Making waves
A little life… a blaze of glory” – Billy

“Zero day –
the time of departure –
peace like a river, scent
of darkness delivering death, a long and winding road –
sorrow road — the crossing away.

Everybody’s fool for love.
Bring me back
out of the dark.” – Scott

“Out of the dark
The acorn eaters
Begin the world again.

The post-birthday world,
Impatient with desire,
Falls —
How perfect is that?” – Jo

“US History 101?
Lies My Teacher Told Me.
Examine the Evidence!
The Life and Death of the American School System,
The New Jim Crow….
A Different Mirror
The Road Out
Democracy in Black.” – Carmine

“The other side of the world
We’ll fly away for a wider tomorrow,
Begin the world again” – Tommy

“Life –
Living With The Dead,
The Dirt—
Red.” – Claudia

“Memory – the great wheel
everyday heros.
Learning to live a blaze of glory,
some things that stay.” – Chris

I Belong
“Perfect Painted Horses [and]
[The] Road Where You Belong.” – Sharon

Share YOUR spine poems with us on social media by using the hashtag #SpinePoetryChallenge @SeedsofLiteracy!

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