National Poetry Month began in the US in 1996, spearheaded by the Academy of American Poets on the steps of a post office in New York City. There, the story goes, Academy staff members handed out copies of T.S. Eliot’s poem, “The Waste Land,” which begins, “April is the cruellest month…” to individuals waiting in line to mail their tax returns. Established in Canada in 1998, NPM now 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.
April also celebrates Poem in Your Pocket Day each year! The day encourages people to select a poem, carry it with them, and share it with others throughout the day. For more information about this initiative, visit poets.ca/pocketpoem.
Celebrate nature with poetry this April!
The League of Canadian Poets invites you to celebrate the 21st annual National Poetry Month in April with nature – whether it’s mountain ranges, deserts, forests, oceans, or plains; whether it’s a cityscape or a landscape. Read, write, and share poetry that translates the emotional, practical, and reciprocal relationships we build – as individuals and communities – to the natural world onto the page.
Introducing the LCP Chapbook Series
NPM19 will also include the launch of a publication from the LCP Chapbook Series – the League’s new quarterly chapbook publication program with the express intent to center diverse voices and rising poetic talents in Canada. April will celebrate the release of a chapbook edited by Ali Blythe, showcasing the work of LGBTQI2S poets in Canada! This project creates space for LGBTQI2S poets to express the complexities of being, perception, experience, and relationship. It will be available to purchase from the League’s website starting on April 7. For more information, visit poets.ca/lcpchapbookseries.
What will you read this National Poetry Month? What events will you organize, attend? Will you start your own poetry writing project? Will you write your first poem? Will you share your poetry on stage for the first time?
If you’re planning an event for April, send us the details so we can include you in our national Poetry Map charting NPM19 events! Complete this form and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org to be included.
Applications for NPM19 event funding are now open.
Hosting an NPM event this year? We’re now accepting applications from event hosts for our NPM funding program. Thanks to the continued support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Department of Heritage, we are pleased to once again be able to provide funding directly to poets participating in NPM-themed events. Funding is distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, so apply early. The deadline to apply is February 15, 2019. Download our application form and guidelines at poets.ca/npmfunding.
Join the #NPM19 Conversation!
While you’re planning, check out some of our resources if you need a place to start: our “Get Involved” blog post suggests many ways to celebrate April, from hosting an event to setting a 30-day writing challenge; last year, we put together a blog post of suggested NPM activites for young readers that can be faciliated by educators, parents, and librarians; and we rounded up a few little ways to work poetry into your day-to-day here!
Find all of our NPM posts on the NPM blog!
2018: 20TH ANNIVERSARY
2016: THE ROAD
2014: POETRY CITY
2013: FIFTEENTH ANNIVERSARY!
2010: CLIMATE CHANGES
2009: POETRY PLANET
2008: POETRY WITHOUT BORDERS
2007: POETRY IN THE FUTURE
2006: LCP CELEBRATES 40 YEARS
2005 POSTER (no theme)
2004: POETS IN OUR COMMUNITIES