Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Rob Mackenzie at Poetry-Free-For-All is inaugurating June as National Poetry Reading Month, and inviting everyone to join in. His instructions:

Well, NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) gets more and more popular every year and it’s been a great idea. However, without readers, poems can’t do what they’re supposed to do i.e. be read.

1. Buy a new book, preferably before June, by a contemporary poet whose work you are not particularly familiar with. An anthology is also acceptable. You must buy the book. Poetry publishers need your money, especially the smaller ones.

2. Read the whole collection by the end of the month at least once. I know some people will laugh at this, as they will read several collections every month. But for others, this will be a new experience.

3. Each day, write a paragraph on a poem from the book. There’s no minimum or maximum length of paragraph. It could be a short sentence. But explain how you react to the poem and quote your favourite line (or a line to show why you didn’t like it).

If there’s enough interest, we’ll create a forum for the purpose. You’ll have your own thread in which you’ll write your paragraph each day. Fluff and encouraging noises are allowed on other people’s threads. If there are only a few participants, we’ll do it in some other way, but I hope plenty of people will take part.

This is giving me a push to read Eavan Boland's New Collected. I heard her read once, at the National Arts Club, but am not familiar with her work. Good time to get to know the woman, methink. Watch out, come June, for spilling of guts all over her poems.

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