Sunday, March 18, 2012
STOP! Write or read a Poem: World Poetry Day March 21
Measuring the World in Poetry
This year to celebrate World Poetry Day, Cobourg Poet Laureate Ted Amsden will read an original poem about roundabouts and their effects on the community, at Cobourg’s March council meeting (Nasmith 2012). The council has also issued a challenge to almost seventy municipalities across Canada to invite poets from their communities to read at formal council meetings.
March 21 was designated World Poetry Day by UNESCO in 1999 and a good many countries have been promoting the reading and reciting of poetry, the teaching of poetry, poetry in connection with other art forms, and the small publishers of poetry, on that date ever since.
As part of its 2012 celebrations, Italy has just honoured eminent Saudi poet Abdull Kaziz Khojeh at ceremonies in Verona, chosen by UNESCO as the city of poets and poetry. Verona will also host an international event with Kuwaiti poet Abdul-Aziz Saud Al-Babtain as one of the elite poet guests and has plans for an international poetry prize.
Uganda’s oral tradition of poetry performance is expected to be resurrected through: poetry recitals across schools; discussions, readings and writings in writing and reading clubs; grand recitals such as the Lantern Meet of Poets and Spoken Truth where rap meets everyday life (Muhumuzu 2012).
The US based online journal YARN – Young adult Review Network has young poets from a number of countries including Uruguay, Sudan, Slovenia, Israel, Japan, writing on the theme Measuring the World: The Geography of Poetry. Meanwhile teaching resources including digital books have been made available at various sites including the teachers network site TES.
World Poetry Day doesn’t usually rate a mention in Australia, but this year Geelong Regional Library is holding a poetry reading by six local poets featured in The Best Australian Poems (Black Inc) - Diane Fahey, Amanda Johnson, Graeme Kinross-Smith, Anthony Lynch, David McCooey and Maria Takolander. In Watson ACT, Fiona McIlroy and her writing group will share poetry at their regular café meeting place Carlos, 4-6 pm.
Australia has celebrated poetry during National Poetry Week in September, for the last ten years or so. With this trickle of activity on March 21 – it has to start somewhere - if we’re not careful Australia will see TWO times in the year when we celebrate poetry across the country.
Write a poem, read a poem, remember a poem, share a poem on Wednesday March 21.