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Four ways to celebrate National Poetry Month

This year, National Poetry Month celebrates its 25th year of recognizing important language, culture and community. Each April, poets and readers of all ages take part in National Poetry Month by learning about notable poets and pieces while crafting their own. As part of the University of Maine community, take part in National Poetry Month before April 30 by reading recent publications by students and faculty and by taking part in social media poetry challenges aimed to inspire a regular creative flow. 

Read UMaine’s “The Open Field” literary magazine

Featuring nearly 30 artists and almost 50 poetic, visual, fiction and creative nonfiction works, this year’s virtual issue of “The Open Field” literary magazine is “devoted to publishing poetry, prose, mixed-genre writing, and visual art by the undergraduate community at the University of Maine.” This year’s publication touches on a variety of themes while painting deeply personal, intricate vignettes inspired by nature, introspection and the simplicity of daily life. English undergraduate students Nola Prevost and Lily Comeau-Waite edited and assembled the spring 2021 edition under faculty advisor and assistant professor Hollie Adams. 

Follow @storiedumaine for a month-long poetry challenge

As UMaine’s creative writing club, Storied @storiedumaine, offers virtual daily writing prompts such as “Mind vs. Body,” “Fish Rain” and beginning this week, “Lighthouse,” “Final Frost” and “10 Things I Hate About You.” The club also features poems following the monthly prompts as submitted through their Instagram page. Storied holds weekly 6:30 p.m. meetings on Wednesdays covering a variety of writing-related topics. The group recently held a “Newspeak” event on April 14 covering the poetry within the technical vocabulary. For more information on UMaine’s Storied group, visit their linkt.ree for their mailing list, Coffee Shop and event Zoom links, and Google Classroom information. 

Be featured on-air with Maine Public’s month-long “mini-poem” campaign

Throughout the month of April, Maine Public Radio is “celebrat[ing] the art of the verse” by featuring short poems by submission on Twitter and TikTok. Using #NPRpoetry, poets may submit 140 words or less, or a less than 15 second TikTok submission for a shoutout on-air by a professional poet on “All Things Considered” if your poem catches their eye. This campaign is perfect for those who love flowing haikus, rhyming quatrains and those who get funky with free verse. Additionally, TikTok submissions allow for showing off your favorite spoken-word and slam poetry performances. 

Take part in “Escapril”: Where the community of poetry by prompt posts began

Started by author and poet Savannah Brown, who is originally known for her YouTube poetry slam videos, “Escapril” is a month-long writing prompt-based Instagram event that builds community via #escapril. With more than 22,000 followers and three years in the making, @letsescapril on Instagram features daily prompts, highlighted artist work, and notable poems to reconcile with in-between. Some of the prompts this year include “ego” and “here’s what i remember,” with upcoming prompts “mirror” and “in the distance, a small shape.”

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