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NPM Top 10

So today kicks off 2008’s National Poetry Month. Quite honestly the month usually doesn’t seem to mean much to me. There might be a few more readings wherever I’m living, but I usually try to go see readings regularly anyways (more out of the if-I-go-to-readings-maybe-others-will-come-to-mine line of thinking than any real benevolence). So I decided to do an internet sweep of cool stuff going on this month for poetry lovers.

You could:

10) Spend a mere $75 to join Meryl Streep, Katie Couric, and Yusef Konumyakaa at the Lincoln Center in NYC to hear them all read a poem tonight.

9) On the 17th, you can participate in “Poem in Your Pocket” day, where you carry a poem with you all day and share it with your friends, family and co-workers. (“Is that The Wasteland in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?”)

8) Buy a new book from a great female American poet: new titles from Jorie Graham, Cole Swensen, Brenda Shaughnessy, Susan Hahn, Karen Volkman, Anne Boyer and Marjorie Welish are slated to come out in April.

7) Read a poem about poetry, chosen once a week by Robert Pinsky over at Slate.

6) If you live in the Bay Area, you can see readings by SF poet laureate Jack Hirschman, Billy Collins, W.S. Merwin, Ishmael Reed, Mary Oliver, or, perhaps coolest of all, at the SF public library on the 26th there will be a showing of rare video footage of George Oppen to celebrate Oppen’s centenary. You can also go to one of the seven readings at Pegasus Bookstore in April.

5) You can raise your fist in protest that poetry is relegated to one month out of the year and the fact that National Poetry Month is really Safe Poetry Month by reading Charles Bernstein’s anti NPM article here.

4) Take one educator’s advice and leave a poem on your school’s answering machine. Hmmm“this sounds like trouble brewing. Larkin’s “This Be the Verse” leaps to mind as a great choice.

3) Raise 4 pints in honor William Shakespeare’s 444th birthday on the 23rd.

2) If you live in Massachusetts, you can head over the Emily Dickinson Museum to hear a 24-hour straight reading of Dickinson’s poems, including readers such as Mary Jo Salter and Matthew Zapruder.

1) Check in daily to the KR blog every day in April for the latest laser-precise insights on contemporary letters by the crack KR blogger team.