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1000 Black Lines

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How to Promote National Poetry Month

Since April is National Poetry Month, I signed up with a couple organizations to receive my daily dose of poetry. Actually, maybe it would be considered an overdose of poetry (I already subscribe to The Writer's Almanac.). The Academy of American Poets offers a Poem-a-day (sign up here) and Random House's Knopf Poetry offers a daily poem (subscribe up here) as well as downloadable broadsides.

This is all nice and well. But will this really help promote poetry? The average reader of poetry already knows where to look for poetry outlets. But what of the average reader? That's when a bit of serendipity intersected my opening of an email from Knopf Poetry--a True web ad displayed to the right. Brilliant, I thought. "Waiting for You..." [insert the following] "The Best in American Poetry." Why not promote National Poetry Month with appearances by Andi McDowell, Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Sean Connery, Sarah Mclaughlin, Lawrence Fishburne or add [your celebrity/starlet here]. I know, I know, that sounds so like a consumerist. What, you say, promote poetry like a movie!?! Promote poetry with flashy, sexy people?!? Yeah. The Academy is and offers a Gala featuring Glen Close, Ethan Hawke and others. Christie Brinkley, Kathy Ireland, Elle Macpherson, Stephanie Seymour will not be in attendance to my knowledge. But I'm sure if The Academy included them as features of the Gala event, they would draw a crowd of people suddenly interested in poetry.

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