National Poetry Month 2015

Funding deadline: February 15, 2015. Established in Canada in April 1998 by the League of Canadian Poets (LCP), National Poetry Month (NPM) brings together schools, publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, and poets from across the country to celebrate poetry and its vital place in Canada’s culture.  The year 2015 marks the 17th anniversary of National Poetry Month in Canada.

This year we are encouraging poets and hosts to explore and savour the theme of Food and Poetry. Inspired by Rachel Rose’s inaugural speech as Vancouver’s Poet Laureate (see below), we want to investigate the ways in which “food is personal, political, sensual and powerful”. Food nourishes, grounds and connects us, much like poetry. Without food as without poetry, we go hungry. There is so much that can be spoken of and written about food and one’s experience with it.

How will you celebrate and reflect on Food and Poetry? Imagine your city alive with the energy of poetry shared over picnics, at food drives, in vegetable gardens or orchards. Does your interest lie in holistic nutrition and the poetics of how food can heal or the problematic politics of food security? Why not plan a reading over brunch with friends, a poetry slam at your local farmer’s market or a writing workshop exploring how food speaks to home? However your creative juices flow, marinade in this theme and let it nourish you and others with your delicious work. We are looking forward to your ideas, and to hearing your poetry in April!

The LCP asks poets and hosts to create events across the country, in their local communities, incorporating the Food and Poetry theme. For more information and funding applications visit: http://poets.ca/programs-2/reading-programs/national-poetry-month/

“Everyone has something to say about food, whether it is the activist challenging the cruelties of conventional farming, the exile remembering the waft of spices on lost streets, or the child writing about the sockeye salmon she buys at Granville Island. Food is personal, political, sensual, and powerful. It concerns every one of us. It’s time to write hymns to dumplings, sonnets to community gardens, love lyrics to beekeepers, odes to the food banks that fed your family while you were sick, pantoums to the lost spices of home now that you are an exile, fierce free verse about conventional chicken farming, performance poetry about guerilla gardens, hymns to the feasts your grandmother prepared, incantations about poverty and food insecurity and bohemian rhapsodies about dumpster diving.”

– Rachel Rose