Tuesday, April 3, 2018

SOL & NPM 2018: Dear Academy of American Poets

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Tuesday Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Betsy, Beth, Kathleen, Deb, Melanie, and Lanny
 for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday and nurturing our writing lives.

National Poetry Month 2018
"Give praise with friends near and far,
flinging words to the sky!"
- Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

Dear Academy of American Poets,

I was almost persuaded. Even though I'm already a card-carrying member, your latest letter imploring me to help light the spark for National Poetry Month had me reaching for my checkbook. I nod my head in agreement and even stand a little straighter as Jennifer (Benka) mentions the role members like me have played in the renaissance of poetry. 

I think back over the ways the Academy has touched my life with poetry - the free yearly posters for National Poetry Month which I laminate each year, the weekly Teach This Poem emails featuring "... one poem a week from our online poetry collection, accompanied by interdisciplinary resources and activities designed to help teachers quickly and easily bring poetry into the classroom," the resources promoting Poem in Your Pocket Day, and the daily digital poems that arrive in my email from Poem-A-Day.With that kind of support from an organization that feeds my poetry soul with daily, weekly, and yearly events, why wasn't I persuaded? 

Well, it all came down to the P.S. at the bottom of the three page letter (yes, I read all of it). That P.S. promised an enclosed poem by U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith to jump-start my own celebration of National Poetry Month and to share with friends and family on Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 26. However, the promised poem was not enclosed. I looked at the three page letter, at the campaign reply page, and at the backs of each page, but there was no poem anywhere!

I definitely felt cheated. I was curious to know what poem had been chosen to include in this letter. And while I was composing this blog post, I decided to call the offices of the Academy of American Poets (phone # posted on the first page of the letter). Since it was after 3 pm (making it after 6 pm on the east coast), I fully expected to be greeted with a recording. Instead, a person answered the phone! I asked what time they closed and she said 6 (but she was answering her phone at 6:03). When I explained the reason for my call, she indicated that I would be receiving my American Poets magazine soon and that they would include the missing poem along with my magazine. 

And so, I am persuaded! My additional contribution for the 2018 National Poetry Month celebration will be in the mail tomorrow morning. You, too, can become a card carrying member of this organization and "...become part of what award-winning poet Carolyn Forché called 'the most important organization in our country helping to keep poetry alive and in our culture.'"

(an ardent supporter & sustainer of poetry)


  1. I will be checking this organization out! Thanks for sharing the info.

  2. What a great organization and I am so glad you shared all that is so great about the work they all do. Happy Poetry Month to you Ramona.

  3. I think you are pulling more and more into poetry...

  4. Ramona, how did I not know about this? I didn't know you could be a member and that poetry would be the perk. I'm going to do a bit of digging to learn more.

    I'm glad that your poem is yet to come. Something to look forward to, for sure.

  5. I already belong to another organization, but you've convinced me, Ramona. I do receive all the email feeds, but have not given them $. You should send this to them; they'll love it!

  6. You are truly a card carrying poet. Amazing that a person answered the phone! Thanks for the links, I will be checking them out. Poetry has power that few have discovered.