In the United States, the month of April is set aside as “National Poetry Month”. The mainstay of the National Poetry Month is for booksellers, libraries, poets, schools, publishers among others, across the United States, to get together and celebrate poetry and its significance to the American culture. According to Poets.org, this year, the Academy is “celebrating the role correspondence has played in poets’ lives, as well as in their poems.”
The initiative was inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. Following the first event, the impressive venture has been fervently marked with a variety of events across the U.S. Several organisations and groups participate through readings, festivals, book displays or bazaars and many others.
In Ghana, there is no such thing as National Poetry week, much less a poetry month. With a resurgent poetry scene; one so robust and filled with very young poets who go to lengths to record poetry onto CDs, create blogs to publish their material, the absence of such a day is astonishing.
During World Poetry Day, groups of poets, supported by writing organisations including the Writers Project of Ghana and the Ghana Association of Writers, ensured that the event went beyond a day’s celebrations. Activities such as spoken word performances, poetry competition for Senior High School and concerts made sure Ghana came up to scratch. There were a few blog posts by Mutombo (a poet) and Nana (poet and literary activist).
More can be achieved indeed. The New York Review of Books is posting the works of poets and critics throughout the month. Book Blogger, Kinna Likimani, who blogs at Kinnareads is marking the National Poetry month with 21 days of poetry. She chose the theme: “poetry of the African and Diasporan Experience”. She has come up with 21 sub-themes that covers the entire geography of the African continent, domestic life, the tropics, migrant experience etc.
We can only hope and work towards achieving a National Poetry Month in Ghana and other greater things. Happy National Poetry Month from us at Creative Writing Ghana.