Celebrate National Poetry Month!

Altered text from Carroll, Lewis, 1832-1898, and John Tenniel. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland: [and Through the Looking- Glass And What Alice Found There]. Philadelphia: H. T. Coates, 190.This edition of the Full Text is brought to you by members of the DePaul University Library EDGE Team: Basil Beyreis-Heim, Giles Cibella, Molly Corrigan, Cai Reed, Cassandra Zamora. They have been sharing their perspectives as first-year students and new users of DePaul University Library services in a series of career skill-building projects.  

“I, too, dislike it: there are things that are important beyond all this fiddle…” is the opening line of Marianne Moore’s poem about her contempt of writing poetry and many of us might share similar feelings too. Well, even though things aren’t unfolding as planned, DePaul’s Library EDGE team still hopes to change your mind about poetry.

In celebration of National Poetry Month, the Library EDGE team had planned two activities to encourage you to engage with poetry: a daily, interactive challenge called “Line-a-Day” and a “Destructive Poetry” party.  For our daily challenge, we had hoped to feature famous first lines of poems on a library whiteboard, and based on that foundation, encourage everyone to participate in building a new poem, line by line.

On April 15th, we were planning to host our “Destructive Poetry” party, a poetry-creation event in which pages of classic texts featured in library resources like HathiTrust would be used in the creation of blackout and collage-style poetry.  We’ve included a sample page with this post, as well as instructions to help you try this at home. Tag your creations with #destructivepoetry to share the Library on Twitter and Facebook.

But wait, don’t I have to write like Shakespeare to write poetry? 

No, you don’t. Just like music or any other form of art, there is no one “right” or “sophisticated” way to write poetry. Poetry is about expression, interpretation, individuality, passion, having fun, and just being yourself. Anyone can be a poet or create poetry including you, DePaul students! While the library buildings are closed, you can browse online poetry resources like Twentieth-Century African American Poetry and Twentieth Century American Poetry; visit Chicago’s own Poetry Foundation online, or sign up for email delivery of a poem a day at Poets.org. Given our current situation, you may also want to check out Poetry for Tumultuous Times.

So what is National Poetry Month anyways? 

National Poetry Month’s mission is to get more people reading and writing poetry and to increase the awareness and appreciation of poetry in the United States. Follow the DePaul University Library on Twitter for updates and more information.

#npm20 #DestructivePoetry #BeYourOwnPoet #NationalPoetryMonth


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