How To Live Up National Poetry Month

2016 College Student Edition

Patriot Post | Claudia Rojas | April 4, 2016

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National Poetry Month is here, don’t let it pass without living it up.

There’s 30 chances to celebrate National Poetry Month–now that’s a bargain. In 1996, the Academy of American Poets took a look at the relevance of Black History Month and Women’s History Month, which are celebrated in consecutive order.

National-Poetry-MonthThey decided that the following month would promote poetry, a sometimes neglected literature child.

April, however, isn’t the best season for college students. There’s not a lot of time to celebrate much of anything. Some students get caught up in graduation anxiety, other students feel the burn of academic anxiety as the semester closes, and still others are caught up in career anxiety as the summer approaches.

George Mason Students are smart though. They know there are ways to cope with the stress and one of those ways is poetry. Listening to poetry can feel a lot like listening to a soothing song. Along that same path, writing poetry can feel like therapy. Use National Poetry Month to relax and attend a poetry event.

Low-cost and Low Energy Events around GMU

April 7 – Coming to the Comfort Zone

An ideal evening for Mason Residents. Enjoy a cup of tea while participating in a writing workshop focusing on writer’s block. Event Location: Roger’s Hall 6th floor, more info here.

Brian Teare (

April 12 – Visiting Writers’ Series Present Brian Teare

Listen to a poetry reading by Brian Teare, whose collection, The Room Where I Was Born (2003), won the 2004 Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry. He currently teaches at Temple University, PA. Event Location: Research Hall, Room 163, more info here.

April 21 – National Poem in Your Pocket Day

Carry a poem in your pocket in and out of campus. An easy icebreaker or simple way to celebrate. Not sure what poem? Check out my 14 poem recommendations. Event Location: anywhere, anytime.

April 21 – The Role of the Poet in Our Lives

Come listen to poet Jorie Graham, who is currently teaching at Harvard University. She will be speaking about the relevance of poetry– because it does matter. Event Location: Center for the Arts (Grand Tier III), click here for event details.

Month Long Options

Watch a Poetic Film


Watch Leonardo DiCaprio in The Basketball Diaries play the role of a young drug addict that gets saved by his journal entries, or watch Robin Williams as a professor at an all-boys college in The Dead Poets Society. Or how about watch Joseph Fiennes bring to life one of the most acclaimed poets of all time in Shakespeare In Love. More films at

Write Some Poetry

The Found Poetry Review is ready for the next 30 days through IMPROMPTU, its month long quirky prompts for poetry writing. Patrick Williams, poet and librarian, kicked off the month with a prompt generator for the greedy. The NaPoWriMo website also offers poem prompts.

Do Some Poetic Coloring


Get out the crayons and de-stress by coloring images to poems like “The Tyger” by William Blake and “Brother Bruin” by Christina Rossetti in this Poetry Coloring Book offered by Get a head start for Take Your Poet to Work Day, color some of your favorite poets, and leave them in unsuspecting spots! The editors at Tweetspeakpoetry have collected the coloring pages in a book for download.

Visit a Busboys and Poets Location

Chill, eat some delicious fries, and attend one of Busboys and Poet’s weekly open mics or attend special events like Sunday Kind of Love held on April 17 or ASL Open Mic on April 29 ($5 admission). Feeling gutsy? Perform a poem and make the evening extra-ordinary.

The countdown to rhyme, rhythm, and repetition has now started. This busy month, treat the soul and body to some poetry.

Breathe a little poetry. Survive a little more.



Featured Image: “Poetry” James Fink, CC BY 2.0