There are reasons to celebrate and REASONS TO CELEBRATE.
It’s the latter over here at YARN today, as we wrap up our groundbreaking, expansive National Poetry Month 2012.
We don’t toot our own horns very often over here, and since I’m not Colleen who is WAY too modest to do this, I’m going to indulge a little. HOW AWESOME has our NPM been? Oh, off the top of my head:
- 37 award-winning poets
- 25 states, plus 1 US Territory (Guam!)
- And when I say award winning, I mean serious literary awards. Remember Donald Justice, whose poem “Crossing Kansas by Train” helped start this whole thing? Well, we have a Donald Justice Prize Winner (Ned Balbo). And a Philip Levine Prize winner (Angela Narciso Torres), and a Vassar Miller Prize winner (Gibson Fay Le-Blanc). And Rhodes Scholar (Nadine Pinede). And Breadloaf fellows. I could go on, but I’m starting to sound like a marching band (toot, toot!).
- Roughly half of the poets we published this month have published books of their own poetry. Some have even published more than one book of poetry. For those of you not familiar with the poetry world, let me just tell you: If you think it’s hard to publish a novel, try publishing a book a poetry.
- Not just geographic diversity, but diversity of culture, ethnicity, gender, age, profession, voice, and style (at the risk of sounding corny–just like our country, which this project criss-crossed tirelessly all month). Click on any one of the NPM installments and you’ll see all of those diversities featured.
I hope that YARN NPM 2012 has introduced you to poets not just outside your geography, but outside your comfort zone. The term “YA poetry” isn’t exactly common–though it’s a term we here at YARN are not-so-humbly attempting to shape, one yarn at a time–so many of the poets you’ve read here this month aren’t technically “YA.” But their poems speak to universal, ageless experiences–and if that doesn’t sound like good writing, YA or whatever, I don’t know what does.
A MASSIVE THANK YOU to all the poets who contributed to this truly exciting project. You guys are doing important work, on the page and in your communities. We have been so honored to have you here this month.
An EQUALLY GIGANTIC THANK YOU to all you readers who tuned in, read, shared links, and generally appreciated the poetry (keep it up, would you?).
A heartfelt thanks to Julia, Lourdes, and Jessica who worked overtime to get the word out. I hope you ladies sleep well tonight!!
And a big hug and I-can’t-find-words-to-express-how-creative-and-awesome-you-are thanks to Colleen, who not only dreamed up this whole thing, but spearheaded it during a pretty tough couple of months.
So that’s all, folks. We’ll be taking a little break from poetry in the coming weeks, but we have some excellent prose to make up for it. See you in Fiction and Essays, for now (well, okay, NPM just might be coming back for an encore this week, but that’s all I’m going to say about that right now).