National Share Poetry Month
In October of last year, poet Matthew Dickman advocated in this Tin House blog that we
join [him] in a small, inexpensive, but possibly life-altering experiment. Over the next thirty days, let’s all buy a favorite book of poems and send it to someone who doesn’t usually read poems. This could be a family member, friend, your local representative, whomever!
I believe that by sharing poetry with others we are taking part in humanizing our culture.
But what if you don’t want to or can’t afford to send that extra book to someone? Well, I don’t think it’s an all-or-nothing deal. I think Matthew’s a reasonable guy.
If you favor a more incremental approach, I recommend visiting HOOT Review or Architrave Press. HOOT prints flash (like über-flash, micro) fiction and short poetry on postcards. It’s website advertises it as “literature you can pass around.” Architrave asks the question, “Why can’t we buy individual poems like we do songs? It’s an idea that’s long overdue.” And it is.
Both of these presses allow you to buy, send, and share literature one piece at a time. If you’re saving up for your own big poetry purchase, maybe you can spare the $2.00 (HOOT) or $3.50 (Architrave) and broaden someone’s poetry horizon.
PS: And if you’re wondering who Matthew picked to send his book to…
For my part, I have picked up two copies of Lucille Clifton’s The Book of Light and am sending them to Portland’s mayoral candidates. Whoever becomes my mayor, I want them to do so with a book of poems on their shelf.