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William Blake

Songs of Innocence and Experience, by William Blake, introduction by Richard Holmes

William Blake was that rare thing, a great artist who was as much poet as painter, as much illustrator as writer. He was a visionary who created his own mythology, wrote satires, prophecies, epics and children’s rhymes, and made hand-colored illustrated books that remain admired icons of the two arts centuries after his death.

More on Blake:
Poetry Spotlight10

Portable Poetry for Poem in Your Pocket Day

Saturday April 19, 2014

Got poems? Got pockets? Are you ready for Poem in Your Pocket Day? It’s this week, and we think it’s one of the best ideas that has taken root in April as part of National Poetry Month.

Poem in Your Pocket Day began more than a decade ago in New York City, the Academy of American Poets made it a truly national celebration in 2008, and since then folks all across the country have joined in the celebration. This year, the day is Thursday, April 24.

“The idea is simple: select a poem you love... then carry it with you to share with co-workers, family, and friends.” You could choose a familiar classic nursery rhyme or a poem by Emily Dickinson or William Blake, since so many of theirs are truly pocket-sized... or browse through the library here at About.com Poetry—we have the poems indexed by title and by poet’s name... or click around in AAP’s collection of PDF poems... or copy out a favorite from one of the books on your shelf at home... just don’t leave home without your poem on Thursday, and don’t forget to take it out of your pocket and read it to someone during the day!

Spring Into Summer: A Roundup of Poetry Contest Deadlines

Wednesday April 16, 2014

Spring is officially here, “Sumer Is Icumen In,” and with the passing seasons comes a new round of poetry competitions. Poets who’ve been working on a manuscript may be interested in the book and chapbook publication competitions, and those who have their eye on publication in a journal or periodical will want to enter the single poem competitions. Whichever route you choose, it’s time to gather your stamps and envelopes, or go for the contests that accept online entries—you’ll notice that many of the contests on this list will take submissions either way.

Required reading before you submit to any contests:
What’s Really Wrong with Poetry Book Contests?,” by David Alpaugh
How to Put Together a Poetry Manuscript for Publication
A Word To the Wise: On Entering Your Poems in Competition,” by Kurt Heintz
You Do It Because You Love It,” by S.A. Griffin

More contest links

Letís get silly: Limericks!

Friday April 11, 2014

Sometimes the point of a poem is just to have fun with words—that’s why they call it word-play! Among the kinds of poem defined in our Glossary of Poetic Forms is that most beloved of nonsense poems, the limerick. We have a self-illustrated selection of Edward Lear’s limericks and links to the best places to find more limericks around the Net—have fun!

Open Mic, Spoken Word - Performance Poetry Definitions and How-Tos

Thursday April 10, 2014

Poems are coming to life in performance all over the US this National Poetry Month, and if you’re looking for the definitions of the New Performance Poetry, this is the place ask your Poetry Guide Bob Holman. See his manifesto “Open Mic: Definitions, Rules, Etiquette, Irony.” The poetry open mic is “a meta-metaphor for freedom, a place where your art can be presented to the public at large,” a place where “all humans are created equal—so long as you don’t go over the time limit!” Our archive of articles on poetry slam, spoken word, and the late 20th century performance poetry renaissance is a historical treasure trove.

Then if you want further definitions from the younger generation, Eman’s the one to ask: she was just 16 and already hosting two weekly open mics when we interviewed her in the millennium year, “HipHop, Performance Poetry, Spoken Word, Slam: Definitions from a Teenager.”

And then it will be time to get out there and join in the fun—an endeavor for which you might want to consult our performance poetry how-tos:

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