Poetry Month Initiatives Help Booksellers Spread the Joy

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In addition to the National Poetry Month poster, sent to stores in the March Red Box mailing, the Academy of American Poets (AAP) offers several resources and initiatives that booksellers can use to help customers discover new poetic voices or rediscover old favorites. Some booksellers may even get the chance this April to introduce a customer to the magic of poetry for the first time.

“Since National Poetry Month launched in April 1996, we’ve been pleased to work closely with independent bookstores, which provide an important home for poetry. That’s why we consistently recommend IndieBound to our readers,” said Academy of American Poets Executive Director Jennifer Benka.

“Not only is National Poetry Month a key time for poets and poetry publishers to sell books, but also for parents and teachers to introduce poetry to young people,” she said. “Showcasing poetry books in your stores promotes our literary past and present, and guides readers of all ages to a kind of writing that might impact their lives in unique and meaningful ways.”

On the AAP website, booksellers can download the National Poetry Month logo in print and web formats for use on event materials. AAP also encourages booksellers to use the official National Poetry Month hashtag #npm15 in all related social media posts.

The organization is promoting several poetry initiatives, including the April 30 celebration of Poem in Your Pocket Day in stores across the nation. This year, participants are encouraged to share their “Poem in Your Pocket” selection on Twitter using the hashtag #pocketpoem. AAP also provides sample poems in a downloadable Poem in Your Pocket PDF.

Booksellers can also spread the word to younger customers about the AAP’s Dear Poet project, a new multimedia education initiative that encourages young people in grades five through 12 to write letters in response to poems read on video by some of the award-winning poets who serve on the Academy of American Poets Board of Chancellors.

Chancellors will reply to select letters that students send by post to the Academy of American Poets, 75 Maiden Lane, Suite 901, New York, NY 10038, or by e-mail to dearpoet@poets.org by April 30. All letters will be considered for publication online in May.