Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Write a Poem to Your Congressperson

National Poetry Month isn't until April, smack dab in the middle of National Tolerate Bicyclists Month and National Look a Homeless Person in the Eyes Month. Thankfully, Matthew Dickman doesn't give a damn. The award-winning poet and Tin House editor (whose Makakovsky's Revolver is on our shelves now) is championing Poetry by Mail from now through November 16th. Buy a book of poetry and mail it to a friend, stranger, political adversary or anyone who doesn't read poetry. Then tweet the title and recipient at #shareapoem. That's it.

If you haven't a clue where to start, you can write to me for a suggestion at or stop in to the store and ask Martin. But keep in mind the point of this proposal's to remind us that poetry is not for experts, but in fact is all around us. You'll get it when you read the thing. Like Mary Ruefle's book of "poetry lectures," which exhumes poetic theory in decidedly unacademic discourse, Dickman reminds us that "[we] are always talking in similes and metaphors, in image-making and lyric moments."

If you can't afford a book, here's list of other ways to get involved during what we're calling National Endeavor to Assume Others' Basic Humanity Month:

  • Make a copy of a poem and mail that 
  • Make copies of 10 poems and insert them into magazines at Barnes & Noble 
  • Memorize a poem and recite it at a Barnes & Noble
  • What the hell, memorize two poems and see which one you get to before being asked to leave Barnes & Noble
  • Attend the 5th annual St. Paul Sidewalk Poetry Open House this Saturday morning at St. Paul's Rondo Library

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