Thursday, April 23, 2015

National Poetry Month: Weekly Gems for Your Inbox with Poem-A-Day and Weekend Sherpa

I've been clearing out my email lately, unsubscribing from reams of newsletters, deals and alerts that flood my inbox daily. But, in addition to keeping my tried-and-true weekly round-up of lit mag goodness from The Review Review and Duotrope, I've just added two more to the list: Weekend Sherpa and National Poetry Month's Poem-a-Day.

I recently applied as a freelance writer to Weekend Sherpa, a Sonoma-based company that offers "insiders' recommendations on the best outdoor pursuits exclusive to California," and which I only now realize I mistakenly misspelled as one word (WeekendSherpa) in my letter of interest--a copywriter's nightmare.

Ah well. If I don't get any assignments describing favorite weekend getaways, at least I've got weekly inspiration in my inbox: this week's newsletter highlights San Francisco GoCars (I just did a rewrite for one in San Diego for Viator!) and a Segway ride around Angel Island ("They're fun and goofy... kinda like the Hall & Oates of outdoor recreation").

April is National Poetry Month, and I know I'm a little late here after tax day and the last frost date, but there are some really cool happenings for this annual event, considered by the Academy of American poets to be "the largest literary celebration in the world."

This year's poster, which holds the spotlight at my local library, was designed by National Book Award finalist Roz Chast, whose comic memoir Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? made me laugh out loud throughout, even though the topic--aging in America--isn't funny. If you'd like to post this one in your classroom, library or home office, you can request a free poster!

In addition to attending special events and readings throughout the country, you can sign up for National Poetry Month's aforementioned Poem-a-Day: receive original, previously unpublished poems  throughout the week and classic poems on weekends.

Finally, for any of you teachers out there, Dear Poet is a multimedia education project for grades 5 through 12 where students write letters in response to poems by award-winning poets (see the video below of Naomi Shihab Nye reading "How Do I Know When a Poem Is Finished?"). A curriculum specialist even helped design a series of classroom activities aligned with the Common Core.

According to the website:
Students—to participate in this year’s Dear Poet project, watch the videos below of Chancellors reading and discussing one of their poems. Then, write them a letter in response and send it by post or email to the Academy of American Poets, 75 Maiden Lane, Suite 901, New York, NY 10038 by April 30, 2015. Please include your name and the name of the poet to whom you’ve written. We will consider all letters for publication on in May 2015. And our Chancellors will reply to select letters of their choosing.

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