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Posts tagged ‘National Poetry Month’

The passion of poetry on the Garden Island of Kauai

Aloha from the beautiful Garden Island of Kauai. Wherever I travel, I try to check out the local writing or art scene. The other night, I traveled from our hotel in Kapaa to the town of Hanapepe on the southwest side of the island to attend a poetry reading in honor of National Poetry Month.

At the home of Storybook Theater, 10 or so local poets read and treated the audience to song, guitar music and a cacophony of Kauain frogs that at times drowned out the speakers with their deep, bass voices. (When one croaked right behind me, I nearly skyrocketed out of my chair because it sounded like some kind of jungle monster, not a frog). Competing with the frog choir was a baby chicken that sent out little peeps like sonar throughout the night. Talk about local flavor! All we needed were a few feral cats to complete the scene. (Kauai has a huge feral cat population—and we always participate in their nightly feedings when we’re here. Yes, just call me Cat Lady).

But I digress. Back to poetry. The theme of the reading was planting seeds. Seeds are a big thing on the Garden Island where food and plants can be grown year round in the rich soil. Read more

Add a spark to your writing: Three posts to celebrate National Poetry Month

Here at One Wild Word, we love poetry. To celebrate National Poetry Month, we’re sharing three poetry posts that we hope will inspire you to read and write poetry.

In How to draw from life to write poetry, you’ll find ideas for creative inspiration that could lead to a poem and more.

Do you want to go deep into an idea as you write a novel or essay? Even if you don’t think of yourself as a “poet,” consider writing a poem to get at the emotional core of your manuscript. Learn more in Using poetry to enrich your prose.

Learn from your poetry writing efforts by documenting your process. See more in Two reasons to keep a poetry or writing journal.

Watch for more ways in upcoming posts to celebrate poetry.

Learn more about National Poetry Month at

Add poetry to your writing repertoire

April may have been National Poetry Month but poetry is a mainstay in our writing life here at OneWildWord. Writing and publishing poetry or short stories is a great way to build up your artist resume while working on longer manuscripts.

Below are three of our most popular posts on different aspects of writing poetry. We hope you enjoy them!

How do you know when your poem or story is done? In this post, Carly shares her thoughts and those of poet Mary Jo Bangs on when a poem feels “done.”

Queen of the list: How I transformed compulsive list making into art is about creating lists to use in your prose or poetry. If you have a compulsion for list making, why not turn it into something useful?

This post answers the question, What makes a good metaphor? And how do you know when a metaphor is working?

Poetic inspiration from our early days

As we celebrate National Poetry Month, we thought you might enjoy three poetry posts from the early days of our blog.

In An experiment in form: Channeling a beat poet, Carol writes about how she was inspired to write a sestina.

Write lyrically by reading poetry was inspired by a tip from author Cristina Garcia.

Poet or not, in Two exercises to help you write poetically, Garcia offers tips that enhance your writing.

Carry a poem in your pocket today!

Poetry can make us laugh or cry, it can give us sustenance when we need it most, it can make us fall in love with words. Poetry can grab you by the shirt collar and drag you into a golden field full of mountain lupine or toss you high on a wave. Poetry can drown you in dandelion fluff.

As part of National Poetry Month, today is, “Poem in Your Pocket Day.”

“Select a poem, carry it with you, and share it with others throughout the day. You can also share your poem selection on Twitter by using the hashtag #pocketpoem.” also has pocket-sized poem PDFs for you to download and carry with you.

The poem I’m carrying with me today is one my blog partner Carly shared with me earlier this year when I was going through a difficult time: “Self Portrait” by poet David Whyte.

What poem will you carry? Please share!

Celebrate National Poetry Month with a movie night

This month at One Wild Word, we’re celebrating poetry and its role in American culture. In my previous post, I offered several suggestions for celebrating National Poetry Month. Another way to appreciate poetry is through movies about poetry and poets.

Here are several films you might enjoy.

Janet Jackson, Khandi Alexander, Maya Angelou, Tupac Shakur are among the actors in Poetic Justice, which features the poetry of Maya Angelou.

The Basketball Diaries, stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Jim Carroll, a basketball star at a Catholic prep school whose promising future shatters down when he becomes addicted to glue-sniffing and then heroin. He finds healing through journaling and his poems and monologues become his Basketball Diaries.

Dead Poets Society is a classic film about poetry starring Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, and Ethan Hawke. Robin Williams portrays an English teacher who doesn’t fit into the conservative prep school where he teaches, but whose love of poetry inspires several boys to revive a secret society.

For more movies about poetry, visit, the website of The Academy of American Poets.

How your audience can feed your writing soul

This weekend, my writer’s soul was nourished and fed. I gave a poetry reading at our local artsy coffee house, the Poulsbohemian, with two other poets—author and teacher Bob McAllister and Bill Mawhinney who runs the Northwind Reading Series in Port Townsend.

I was honored to read with these two prolific and treasured poets and they’re part of the reason I had such a great experience this weekend. But there was another reason the night stood out for me as the best reading I’ve ever given—the audience.

When I read, I like to take turns reading from my pages and glancing around the room at the faces in the crowd. My intent is to tune into their energy and take them for a ride with me. My goal is to entertain and move my audience.

Last night, I have to admit I was a bit tired when I arrived. But as soon as I started reading, I could literally feel the audience’s intent—they leaned forward, their eyes were open, they followed my words and wanted more. It felt as if they had all dialed into the same static-free channel at the same time. I’ve given readings before but this was the first time I felt the audience was really hungry. Read more