Each year since 1996, the United States has recognized the month of April as National Poetry Month, a celebration of poetry organized by the Academy of American Poets. Skyline College in April 2019 hosted 7 poetry events which includes the poetry reading and poetry workshop on campus to celebrates the National Poetry Month.
April was selected as the month of celebration because the original organizers deemed this a month where they could see the highest level of participation. The inspiration for a dedicated poetry month came from the success seen by Black History Month (celebrated in February) and Women’s History Month (celebrated in March).
Skyline celebrates the National Poetry Month every year, not only because it’s a nationwide event, but also for students who have never been to a poetry reading. Through the series of events, it’s a good way for students to be introduced to poetry.
Rob Williams, an English professor who organized the National Poetry Month this year points out the value of poetry events at Skyline.
“Poetry is a way to present all kinds of voices and to show all kinds of diversity,” Williams said. “One of the goals with doing the poetry event here on campus is to highlight the diversity on campus.”
At the same time, Williams also clarified how the poetry events can bring creativity to students.
“The benefit, I think, is to introduce students to poetry and creative writing,” Williams said. ” It’s a good way to get more students interested in taking creative writing on campus.”
For National Poetry Month, two poets were invited to read their work. One of the two poets was Counselor Kim Davalos who shared her book on Friday, April 19. She talked about what she wants students to get out of it.
“I hope that what the audience learned from the poetry reading of mine and other poets is how to find the vulnerability and courage to tell their own story and be able to have courage and bravery to share that with their family and people in our community,” Davalos said.
Ayanda Noyolo Miti, a psychology student who attended to the poetry reading expressed that students can find themselves through the poetry reading event.
“Poetry It is a way to express your feelings and to really find out who you are, how you process things and how you handle challenges,” said Miti. “It’s also a great way to practice language and writing skills.”
However, Miti also thinks inside the poetry events that students can learn from each other.
“I love to learn from others and love to watch their creative ways of putting thoughts, feelings and dreams into words. I also go to share my stories and share my experiences so that others who feel alone can find comfort in knowing that they are not the only ones going through life’s ventures.”
The last poetry series event in National Poetry Month is the Talisman Literary Magazine Release Party & reading event which will be hosted next Thursday, May 9 from 6-8 p.m. in Building 4, 4-240.