New beginnings, fresh sheets of paper, unused ink, words yet to be written, seeds waiting to be scattered, blooms in the heart.
National Poetry Month is a month for poets to come out of hiding— out of stuffy libraries, out of book-riddled bedrooms, out of tiny offices. It’s when we gather over cups of coffee (or something stronger), to share poems, read work, attend launches, and bask in the glory of our brokenness. One could argue that we do this anyway— but there’s something about April. Something about some poet referring to it as the cruellest month, something about it giving us permission to call ourselves poets.
I always look forward to April—from the frost of winter fading away to the shock of crocuses sprouting up through hardened soil.
I’ve decided to write a handful of ghazals this month, ghazals whose refrains will be chosen by ‘the people’ as it were. I’ve dubbed it “The Ghazal Project”, to make it sound more official, and to hold myself accountable for what will undoubtedly reduce me to many “oh shit, I have to write a ghazal” moments. Every Monday in April, I will post a prompt for my facebook & instagram followers, and will choose one of their responses (namely, a word), to create a refrain for an original ghazal— which I will write, record and publish to be read and heard on Friday.
Wish me luck, folks. I’m going to need it.
In addition to this very ambitious project, my poems are also featured for All Lit Up’s “Woven Odes” interactive constellation of poets (how cool does that sound?!) and the League of Canadian Poets/ American Academy of Poets collaborative collection of poetry for Poem in Your Pocket Day (April 21st).
And then, of course, there are the events. The long running poetry series, the art bar, will be closing its doors this year, so I feel particularly lucky to be featured for a second time on April 12th. Then, on April 17th, I’m offering “Road Maps to the Heart”, a free poetry workshop based on this year’s NPM theme, “the road”. It’ll be fun, I promise. Did I mention I’ll be giving away a gorgeous prize pack? Think notebooks, pens and chocolate.
It’s a packed month– one in which I hope to spend more time reading and writing poems. I encourage you to read poetry from poets you’ve never heard of before— go to your local library and pick up a collection of poems with a title that screams at you to be read. I have no doubt that you’ll find a gem or two.
What are you plans for NPM16? Let me know in the comments!
Happy Reading, folks.