It’s April and that means in addition to showers and flowers, we are celebrating National Poetry Month.
Launched by the Academy of American Poets in April 1996, and celebrating its 25th anniversary, National Poetry Month reminds the public that poets have an integral role to play in our culture and that poetry matters.
Eight of the poets I’ve included have been awarded the Nobel Prize for literature, the most recent recipient being Louise Glück.
Billy Collins just celebrated his 80th birthday by launching a poetry reading on his website.
A portrait of Adrienne Rich by artist Alice Neel hangs at the Metropolitan Museum in Neel’s recently opened retrospective.
Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaiden’s Tale, has now written a sequel, The Testaments (Nan A. Talese), set 15 years after the first book ends.
James Merrill was an avid letter writer and his correspondence has been co-edited by Langdon Hammer and
and Stephen Yenser for A Whole World: Letters from James Merrill in a book due on April 6th. (Penguin/Random House).
Yusef Komunyakaa’s new book of poetry, Everyday Mojo Songs of Earth: New and Selected Poems, 2001-2021, is scheduled for June 15th.
Kevin Young, in addition to being The New Yorker’s poetry editor, is the new director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Another upcoming highlight: Amanda Gorman (who won the hearts of our nation at President Biden’s Inauguration, with the recitation of “The Hill We Climb”) has a new book out that includes this poem and others.
When day comes, we step out of the shade aflame and unafraid.
The new dawn blooms as we free it.
For there is always light. If only we’re brave enough to see it.
If only we’re brave enough to be it.
It’s no wonder April is National Poets Month. The poets, like bunny rabbits, are jumping!