Whew! I made it to V!! And I managed to find a topic for it before the ‘V’ day ended. Now to finish writing it before the day ends, and I will have accomplished my thing for the day.. in addition to letting my teenager drive home from school with his student driving permit today!! So that will be two things for the day, and that is good for me. Since travel is still and even more curtailed in many places again, today’s post is all about Virtual stuff; Virtual Tours, Events, and More to Celebrate Poetry this National Poetry Month. And of course, as part of my Poetic Potpourri..
This post contains Amazon and other affiliate links, that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Please see the full disclosure for more information. I only recommend products I would (or have already) use myself.
Virtual Tours, Events, and More to Celebrate Poetry
So while not all of us can go out or do things, we can do them all virtually; just like we have learned to do over the last year. And virtual tours and events have become the norm now. Here are links and brief descriptions of some events that I hope I can join in as well
Follow in the Footsteps of Poetry
This is a virtual tour you can take, and part of many wonderful offerings from Google Arts and Culture. Take a virtual tour of where some of the most famous poems were written and the places that inspired them. Visit Emily Dickinson’s house, and take a peek into Maya Angelou’s NY home; or look at Brooklyn Bridge through Walt Whitman’s eyes. These are but a few of the stops on this tour.
Tours of Poe House
Take guided live virtual tours of the historic Edgar Allan Poe House & Museum, led by a real museum docent. You can register for tour tickets here (This tour is offered on a Pay-What-You-Can basis; and suggested amount is $5). Or you could check out the video at the website a video tour of Poe House, no reservation required.
Tour The Frost Place
Emily Dickinson Museum Events and Tours
Visit the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York; take a tour of the gallery of portraits and more there, and watch videos of performances.
The East Village Poetry Walk is an audio tour of poetry related sites in New York City’s East Village. You can download the audio tour for yourself and walk the walk if you are local to NY City; or take a virtual tour here. It is beautiful, I can attest to the same.
National Poetry Month – Academy of American Poets
The Academy of American Poets provides a multitude of ways to celebrate National Poetry Month virtually; many of these are events you can view or do even after April 2021. Read about 30 ways to celebrate National Poetry Month online and at home; and join the Academy of American Poets for its first-ever virtual Poetry & the Creative Mind gala on April 29.
Events at the Poetry Foundation
The Poetry Foundation has many regularly scheduled events that you can look at and register for at their website. I hope to pick a couple for later in May this year.
Laureate’s Library Tour 2021
Register for and attend any one of the events that are part of the Laureate’s Library Tour 2021. This tour marks the start of a ten-year tour of UK’s libraries by UK Poet Laureate Simon Armitage, as part of which he will give readings in libraries across the UK. This year, of course, with all the restrictions, these will be free live-streamed only poetry readings from inside libraries around the UK; I have registered for a few (due to time differences, cannot attend all of them).
Free Virtual Poetry Slam Events
Check out EventBrite for free poetry slam events online.
Watch the Poetry in America series. I recall watching it first on a flight back home from India; and
Check out the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s website for poetry related events as well. I registered for a poetry workshop this coming Wednesday. And you can see recordings of past events here.
I guess all the poetry related stuff I was doing led the below video to appear on my YouTube recommendations; and this took me to a whole playlist of wondrous recitations.
This note is not an exhaustive or comprehensive one, but just some of those I found the most interesting among the many I saw. I am also sure there are others I have totally missed so I would love to hear about those from you!
Voices in the Air
Title: Voices in the Air: Poems for Listeners
Author: Naomi Shihab Nye
Length: 208 pages
Genre: Poetry (13 – 17 years)
Publisher: Greenwillow Books (February 13th 2018)
Source: Library copy
Description: Award-winning poet and author Naomi Shihab Nye has written more than 100 poems inspired by the artists, writers, poets, historical figures, politicians, ordinary people, and other diverse luminaries from past and present who inspire us, give us solace, and create hope.
I most recently read Naomi Shihab Nye’s work in the collection How to Love the World. Prior to this, I had read a couple of her poems in other collections, and each reading left me wanting to read more. This book is no different.
Her words go swooping and flying and gently gliding along the pages, just like the birds pictured on the cover; just like voices in the air might. While the book covers a broad range of topics and tones, there is a strong undercurrent of gratitude and inspiration throughout.
I loved the poems where she pays homage to beloved poets, writers and artists; and those that are almost love letters to people around the world – refugees, everyday heroes, and all of us leading our daily lives. There are poems that wring your heart, and those that soothe that hurt right after. Then there are poems that inspire and fill you with hope; and yet others brimming with strength and wit.
With each poem, Nye instructs and inspires readers to listen more, to listen better, and to listen with curiosity and a open mind: to listen to all those voices in the air.
Dare I pick a favorite? No.. I dare not.. so I and my teens picked a few poems that each of us loved at random, and this is what we came up with:
- Every Day
- Double Peace
- Everything Changes the World
- Next Time Ask More Questions
- Please Sit Down
- A Lonely Cup of Coffee
- Reading Obituaries on the Day of the Giant Moon
- Your Answering Machine, After Your Death
- Gratitude Pillow
- In Transit
- For the Birds
- Small Basket of Happiness
It is a dozen poems, I know, but we picked so many more and would have ended up with most of the book if I had not decided to use the first randomly picked dozen.
Don’t miss her introduction, and the backmatter, which includes biographical notes on all the people she lists in the book (she refers back to the poems they appear in), as well as additional resources for readers.
And now, I need to read the poems, slowly, carefully, all over again, and listen to all they say.
At the risk of sounding cliched, this book is a must-read….
Get It Here
And Now, the End of This Post
Dear reader, as always, and always, I welcome your thoughts and suggestions, as well as recommendations. Have you read the featured books or any similar reads?
The AtoZ Challenges
You can find all my A2Z Challenge Posts here.