National Poetry Month
"Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month is now held every April, when schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets throughout the United States band together to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture."
This year's events include:
Poem in Your Pocket Day - April 24, 2014
Past years' projects:
The Milwaukee Poet Laureate, sponsored by Milwaukee Public Library, began in 2000. For 2013-2015 two poets were named to the honor, Jim Chapson and Jeff Poniewaz.
Jim Chapson, "Portraits in the Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon"
And in this gallery we enter the light
of the eighteenth century.
Scientists look out with confidence.
Upon the scholar’s desk, the retort,
astrolabe, and microscope replace
the desiccated skull. Progress now begins.
Happily we leave behind the gaunt ascetics
lost in their unhealthy meditations,
to join the company of rational men
smug beside their quaint scientific
Jeff Poniewaz, "The Last Endangered Species Glass"
Three years ago two friends gave me
a set of six Endangered Species Glasses,
each glass etched with the picture and name
of one of the species near extinction.
The Oryx was the first to bite the dust—
a friend laughed so hard at something I said
it slipped full of wine from her fingers.
A few months later the Cheetah fleeted
faster than my reflex to catch it.
The Polar Bear was the loser
in a battle with an ice-cube tray.
The Whooping Crane flew out of my hand
as I wildly gestured a poem.
The Eagle was the last to go.
I broke it against the faucet
while doing the dishes.
Each time one of those glasses broke
I got a lesson in fragility,
a shattered metaphor for
what extinction means. Now
only the Tiger remains…
and it’s chipped.