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Celebrate National Poetry Month

When was the last time you read a poem for pleasure? According to a 2015 article in The Washington Post, the number of people who read poetry dropped from 17 percent of the population in 2002 to 6.7 percent in 2012, and that downward trend didn’t seem to be leveling off. (“Poetry is Going Extinct, Government Data Show” by Christopher Ingraham). 

Thankfully, local organizations such as MUSED. are working to prove that poetry can be a vital part of a community, while others such as Poetic Justice are showcasing poetry’s power to improve lives and bring healing.

Since April is National Poetry Month, now is the perfect time to celebrate the beauty and power of poetry. If you don’t have any poetry in your home library, visit a city library or go online to www.poetryfoundation.org, where you can browse thousands of poets or subjects to find the perfect poem.

Specific opportunities to observe National Poetry Month are April 18, National Haiku Poetry Day; April 23, National Talk Like Shakespeare Day; April 26, National Poem in Your Pocket Day; and April 28, National Great Poetry Reading Day.

Poetry in the Community

Glenpool Poetry Café

Thursday, April 12, 6-7:30 p.m.

Celebrate National Poetry Month! Share an original poem, read one of your favorites or listen to poetry shared by others. Participants will have 3 minutes to present their work. Light refreshments are provided. For teens and adults. Glenpool Library, 730 E. 141st St. www.tulsalibrary.org

Poetry Night with Kevin Young

  • Friday, April 20, 7-8:30 p.m.

Day two of the Tulsa LitFest (see description below) celebrates National Poetry Month as Kevin Young, poet and New Yorker poetry editor, reads from his latest collection. OSU-Tulsa, 700 N. Greenwood Ave. www.tulsaartistfellowship.org/tulsa-litfest

Jeanetta Calhoun Mish, featuring Poetic Justice

  • Saturday, April 21, 7-9 p.m.

2017-18 Poet Laureate of Oklahoma Jeanetta Calhoun Mish will read both original poetry and works from the Poetic Justice Project, which facilitates writing workshops for incarcerated women. OSU-Tulsa, 700 N. Greenwood Ave.

Green Writing: Celebrating the Earth with Poetry

  • Sunday, April 22, 1-3 p.m.

As a celebration of National Poetry Month, join Nimrod International Journal, the Tulsa Botanic Garden, and Tulsa Artist Fellowship as we explore the connections between poetry and nature. Tulsa Botanic Garden, 3900 Tulsa Botanic Dr. www.tulsaartistfellowship.org/tulsa-litfest

Monthly MUSED. Poetry Night

  • Sunday, April 29, 6-7:30 p.m.

Poetry karaoke, anyone? On the last Sunday of each month, MUSED. and Magic City Books are teaming up to host a fun poetry night for everyone. Bring an original poem or your favorite poem to share! Magic City Books, 221 E. Archer St. www.magiccitybooks.com

Tulsa LitFest

The First Annual Tulsa LitFest will take place April 19-22! Begin the weekend with a screening of “You’ve Got Mail” at OSU-Tulsa, which will be followed by a talk with Erin Carlson, author of “I’ll Have What She’s Having: How Nora Ephron’s Three Iconic Films Saved the Romantic Comedy.” Other events throughout the weekend include a Small Press Book Fair on Saturday, April 21, at Greenwood Cultural Center, writing workshops and more. See the full schedule at www.tulsalitfest.org.

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