With all due respect to this month’s religious holidays and rain showers, to me April means National Poetry Month. I know I am a literary geek, but as an aspiring poet myself, I am inspired by this month dedicated to poets and their craft. National Poetry Month was established by the Academy of American Poets in 1996 to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry.
For me, poetry has always been the vehicle which allows me to observe and comment on my world. I cannot remember a time when I did not read and write poems and I can still recite poems memorized in my childhood. I especially loved reading and writing Haiku as a young girl and later expanded my writing using rhyming techniques. In my early 20s I began to explore free verse or open form poetry which does not follow a specific pattern and that is the style I currently use.
My first published poem appeared in my local hometown newspaper when I was in the 6th Grade. I won a town-wide poetry contest and that was all I needed to throw myself into writing. I have had several poems published in Poetic Voices of America anthologies over the years and they sit on my bookshelf as a reminder to Write On. I wrote a poem to each of my children when they were born – that is another story – but, I have a journal for each of them which I hope one day they will treasure.
Next, I hope to add a children’s book to my writing collection. Yes, I have written a manuscript about my kitten, Jingles, who followed me to school every day when I was in Second Grade. I have submitted the story to six publishers, and have heard from two – a mainstream publisher and a self publishing company. I am currently learning about both options as we speak. I am pretty excited!
You may think writing a children’s book is coming out of left field, but I have spent a great deal of precious time in the past seven years reading aloud to students at Kent School. I have read my old favorites, from my own well-loved collection, such as Make Way for Ducklings, as well as new children’s gems like Kwame Alexander’s How to Write a Poem, perfect for this month.
Dear Readers, cross your fingers for me. Perhaps I will have a children’s book in the world soon. Write On!