Spoken Word seems to have gone through a renaissance of sorts lately. Poetry, by its nature, is an evolving, evocative medium that pushes the borders of the imagination as well as the spirit. As this relates to the music, specifically the House Music industry, there has certainly been an upswing in songs that feature Spoken Word artists with or instead of singers. Speaking about poetry, did you know that April is National Poetry Month?
NaPoMo was inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets (poets.org) in 1996 and now takes place every April. This annual celebration of Poetry in American culture is designed to bring together artists, publishers, events and aspiring poets and to widen the attention of Poetry to individuals and organizations.
The goals of National Poetry Month are to (taken directly from poets.org):
- Highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets
- Introduce more Americans to the pleasures of reading poetry
- Bring poets and poetry to the public in immediate and innovative ways
- Make poetry a more important part of the school curriculum
- Increase the attention paid to poetry by national and local media
- Encourage increased publication, distribution, and sales of poetry books
- Increase public and private philanthropic support for poets and poetry
The Academy of American Poets lists 30 ways NaPoMo can be celebrated. Among them are: Celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day, Organize a poetry reading, Attend a poetry reading, Read a poem at an open mic, Integrate poetry with technology and Listen on your commute. Having done most or all of the 30 suggested ways to celebrate; I’m going to focus on Listen on your commute.
Being a writer, poet, Spoken Word Artist and Recording artist, taking the time to listen to what has inspired others is inspiring to me. In honor of National Poetry Month, I committed to posting videos of one inspiring Spoken Word Artist a day. “Some everyone will know. Others everyone SHOULD know” was the theme of the exercise. This led to a discovery of new poets and rediscovery and appreciation of known artists.
I could go on about this all month, since this particular topic is close and dear to me. I won’t though. That will be left for another time, when we can sit on pillows, with our chimes, candles and old English Shakespearean sonnets and talk about the philosophy of life, love and the pursuit of Art.
I jest, of course…. Maybe.