It’s National Poetry Month, Peeps!

It’s April and poetry friends near and far are scrambling to post their daily poems. I admire their efforts, I really do, as I have jumped into this marathon before. Fill a month, many months, a year even with poems. The end result has always offered a plethora of writing to revise, edit, move into the publishing world.

In the little galaxy of my high school Creative Writing class, my students last week engaged in several “Poem in Your Pocket” activities listed out by the Academy of American Poets. After a weekend, they returned to class Monday to report out on what they tried. Many called, texted, or even emailed their poems to friends and family members. Some folded their poems into origami cranes to test their seaworthiness. Others filmed their reading efforts from porches and other outdoor spots. A few poems landed on the community bulletin board at Sea Mart, our grocery store with a parking lot that extends into the ocean and where most of town takes their sunset photos to include our local volcano, Mt. Edgecumbe, or L’ux as it’s named in Lingít Aaní. There’s nothing better than taking poetry out of its expected setting (book, classroom). Taking it for a walk and seeing where it might land you.

This past winter put me in the seat facing my laptop. I returned to the groove of not only writing regularly, but submitting work regularly to poetry journals. And the results of those efforts have been just a little staggering. For example, in a two-week period in late March/early April, I published a dozen poems in a handful of journals. I can’t say I’ve had such a streak before: 12 acceptances, 1 rejection. It makes me hopeful, and keeps me writing.

It may be months yet before actual publication in some instances, but some returns are beginning to land on my desk, including a few from the mail this week. Huge shout out and much gratitude to editors everywhere, but in this moment to the editor of Tidal Echoes, Last Stanza Poetry Journal, and Wingless Dreamer. These covers are beauties and welcome spring to my desk.

Happy Poetry Month! Carry on.

Author: kerstenchristianson

Kersten Christianson is a raven-watching, moon-gazing, high school English-teaching Alaskan. She serves as poetry editor of the quarterly journal Alaska Women Speak. Her latest collection of poetry is Curating the House of Nostalgia (Sheila-Na-Gig Editions, 2020). Kersten holds an MFA from the University of Alaska. @kerstenak

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