Poems To Combat Toxic Masculinity

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If you follow James Fell on social media, you already know the author is a gem. He always has the most creative, and sometimes cutting, way to express the changes we need to make in our society. He recently shared an aching poem that resonated with him about toxic masculinity and declared that May 5th be known as International Day of Battling Internalized Toxic Masculinity.

This day is needed but so is simply not teaching toxic masculinity. If only we could create a world like that. I know so many men who've had to move past their own upbringings for this very reason. The poem itself is heartbreaking and depicts how a boy has to battle his own heart.

Do you have any other favorite poems like this one? Share them here in the chat.

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The Final Week Of NaNoWriMo!

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This is it, the final week of NaPoWriMo! How did yours go? Did you accomplish all you set out to write and/or read? We did a very low-key NaPoWriMo this year and I'm afraid we didn't accomplish all of what we wanted to do, but we did decide to do a whole poetry credit during the spring semester of 2022 to coincide with the event next time!

It looks like a lot of poets from India really participated in NaPoWriMo this year and some authors think it was directly due to the pandemic. It's definitely an activity that can be done from home that can also provide comfort and a creative outlet all at once so that makes sense to me.

How did your NaPoWriMo go? Share your thoughts in the chat!

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Your Best Poem So Far

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How is your National Poetry Writing Month going? Have you written or read (or both!) a lot of poetry this month? I started strong but have fallen off a bit lately due to my state's legislative season taking a lot of my time as an activist. April always seems like such a busy month!

If you have been writing poems, what kinds have you been focused on this year? I often spot trends in the ones I write, especially if I write consistently enough to really have enough to compare. In fact, you can leave a blank space after each poem to go back and analyze why you wrote it that day. You might learn something about yourself.

Have any poems you love that you'd like to share, or that you'd like to have analyzed by other poets? Share them in the chat!

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Pulitzer Center Offers Poetry Resources

Use these to celebrate NaPoMo!

Whether you're an educator or just celebrating NaPoMo and NaPoWriMo with your family, have you checked out all of the resources available to you through the Pulitzer Center? They have lesson plans, like this one for the collection of poems, If God is a Virus.

The Pulitizer Center also has upcoing workshops for teachers and students to help them get ready for the upcoming Fighting Words Poetry Contest. The deadline for the contest isn't until May but the workshops are scheduled for next week to help get kids ready.

What other resources have you found to celebrate the month with? Share them in the chat.

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NaNo Check-In

How's your first week of National Poetry Month going?

How's your first week of National Poetry Month going? I've managed to read a few poems, coax one out of The Teenager and write a short one every day so far. Most of them have only been three lines but I did write one that turned into a parody of "Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones!

We decided not to make the poetry wall this year just because it's covered with a timeline this year, but we're writing them in our notebooks. My teen has taken to the task with sarcasm which is fine with me. It's still engaging the brain and results in creative results every time no matter the motivation, and sometimes it's even fun.

How are you celebrating? Any poems to share yet? Post them in the chat!

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National Poetry Month is Here

How do you plan on celebrating?

April is National Poetry Month as well as National Poetry Writing Month! It's one of the most fun months of the year when we not only read and study poetry at our house, but we write a poem every day, too. Last year we used a poetry wall to write on, which made it even more fun, and I think we're going to do the same thing again.

This year we all have a new favorite poet in Amanda Gorman so we have someone else to add to our celebrations. Many people will be reading her poetry this month, I'm sure. There are lots of fun poetry-related things to do throughout the month from home as well. 

How will you be celebrating the month? Share your plans in the chat.

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Doctor Says Poetry Helps With Patients

It's all connected!

Recently my teenager, who wants to be an entrepreneur and comic artist but also loves psychology and philosophy, begged me why history was so important to learn. I pointed him to an article his philosophy teacher sent us about why philosophy should be taught to plumbers.

This example of a doctor who utilizes poetry to reach his parents is another wonderful example. Poetry isn't separate from medicine. On the contrary, it can be medicine, depending on what's going on with you, and it's certainly about the human condition. When we separate subjects we forget how interconnected it all is--how interconnected we all are. It's all a part of our world, after all, broken down into little boxes or not.

What subjects were you most surprised to find relevant in your life? How has poetry helped you in your life or career?

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The Best Poetry Facebook Pages

Which do you follow?

It's no secret that when it comes to poetry communities, AllPoetry is my favorite. It's just the one I enjoyed in college and I loved being able to collaborate, read and share, submit to contests and just belong to the community. They do have a Facebook page as well if you'd like to follow them there.

But a lot of my friends swear by Button Poetry, which I'm really digging. It promotes more spoken word poetry as well as poems written by more diverse authors, which the world needs to really listen to. It's not about "giving them a voice;" they have a voice already. It's about quieting and listening and stepping back so those voices can be heard!

What is your favorite poetry community on Facebook? Or any other social media, for that matter? Share it in the chat.

Consequence Culture, Poet Edition

Who do you think we shouldn't study anymore?

"Cancel culture" just isn't a thing. People with that much power certainly aren't canceled unless they do something super heinous, and even then most continue to get away with it. Just look at the previous president. Consequence culture, however, is a thing, and now that we are familiar with some of the terrible things famous people have done, it makes sense to not follow or study them anymore.

But how do you do it? How do you do it with a poet like Pablo Naruda, who was such an incredible writer who admitted to raping someone? What about Philip Larkin? And what methods do you use? Would you stop studying an artist with a problematic past? The issue there is that so many of the ones studied certainly have issues, although they range from deeply troublesome to downright criminal.

Perhaps we should just start studying new poets altogether. What do you think?

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The Most Poetic Songs

Which would you say are most poetic?

Most of us love at least some form of music, and many songs speak to us like poetry. I can think of so many songs that sound like they were poems put to music, and aren't a lot of songs like that anyway?

When I think of these kinds of songs, I almost always go to artists like Alicia Keys or Norah Jones, but think of artists like The Silent Comedy or even Blink 152. Some of those lyrics are deeply moving and profound, using imagery that we expect from poets.

What songs do you most associate with poetry? Share them in the chat.

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