Celebrate the art of poetry this month

-A A +A
By Kirsten Laskey

Calling all bards, poets and writers – National Poetry Month has arrived.

April is the month to sharpen the pencil, pull out the paper and ramp up the literary creativity.

In 1996, the Academy of American Poets established National Poetry Month as a month-long, national celebration of poetry.

The concept was to increase the attention paid-by individuals and the media to the art of poetry, to living poets, to Americans’ poetic heritage, and to poetry books and magazines.

In the end, the hope is to achieve an increase in the visibility, presence and accessibility of poetry in culture.

National Poetry Month has been successful beyond all anticipation and has grown over the years into the largest literary celebration in the world.

Locally, Mesa Public Library is recognizing National Poetry Month with a reading by the                                  Nuclear Poets.

The work will address the Cerro Grande fire. Additionally, the reading will be a part of the opening reception for the newest art exhibit at the library, “Touched by Fire: Hands that Help, Hands that Create.”

The reading will begin at 6:15 p.m. Thursday in the upstairs rotunda.

The Nuclear Poets Society, according to its Web site, is a forum for poets with a connection to Los Alamos and for those interested in area                                        poetry events.

The purpose of the group is to promote the reading, writing, and listening of poetry, and to foster a community of poets in Los Alamos.

Nuclear Poets meet at the Poetry Gatherings, which is held from 6:30-8 p.m. the second Thursday of every month at Mesa Public Library. The Poetry Gatherings are open to the public.

Jane Lin, who is involved in the poetry society, said the reading is just a small part of the opening                       of the exhibit.

She explained the society members were invited to participate in the reception because they contributed to Terry Foxx’s booklet, which commemorates the 10 years since the fire occurred.

Lin said the booklet is a collection of interviews, stories and poems about how people have recovered from this event.

The members of the Nuclear Poets will read the poems they submitted to Foxx’s work.

Lin encourages people to attend the event because “It’s always a different experience to hear poetry than just to read it,” she said. “It’s an opportunity to hear the poets read their own poems and bring them to life.”  

Additionally, the Authors Speak series this month will combine with the Poetry Gatherings to present the third annual Poetry Potluck event at 7 p.m. April 22.

The event will include an open mic as well as readings by guest poet Matt Donovan.  Lin will be the emcee for the evening.