National Poetry Month: Phone Poets Project

Earlier today, I happened to read two different articles about the demise of poetry and the hilarity of National Poetry Month. The hilarity being related to the demise of poetry. The month being, after all, a ruse and an excuse.

I understood the points being made. Really. I even agreed with some of them.

But then I remembered how we were born. A joke on Twitter. A night of modern Cento activity (though we didn’t understand that at the time). In the midst of supposed Twitter twaddle, in the midst of the Great Demise of Poetry, we were born.

It is our effort here at Tweetspeak Poetry to draw people into poetic endeavor and then help them grow into rich readers and writers of poetry. Place us neither in the eternally professional or amateur categories. We want beginners. And we want experienced writers. We are interested in a process of poetic literacy that brings the two extremes together—where beginners lend energy and new excitement and where seasoned writers lend knowledge and challenge, thus creating a truly satisfying poetry community that can serve as a vital force and model.

We think National Poetry Month is an opportunity—to bring beginners and established poets together. We also think projects which begin in jest or as fun experiments can have unexpected impact and provide pure enjoyment.

To that end, Tweetspeak is teaming up with Patty Paine, of Diode Poetry Journal, to jumpstart a Phone Poets Project for National Poetry Month. We’ve begun our Instagram account just for the occasion. And Patty Paine has agreed to use hers to create or highlight found poems throughout April.

National Poetry Month Phone Poets Project

Got an Instagram or Twitpic account?

1. Find a few words, anywhere—on signs, boxes, subway graffiti

2. Photograph the words with your phone

3. Use the words to craft a found poem and share via Instagram or Twitpic. Include the hashtags #npmdiode #npmtsp #phonepoets. Include your location hashtag if you want us to put your poetry on the map. Mine’s #newyork and Patty’s is #doha. Let’s watch this go around the world! :))

4. Drop your Instagram or Twitpic link here or tweet to Patty Paine and @tspoetry and we’ll share some and feature some. Hilarity is optional.

Photo by Gonzalo Baeza, Creative Commons, via Flickr. Post by L.L. Barkat, author of Rumors of Water: Thoughts on Creativity & Writing.


Buy a year of Every Day Poems, just $5.99 — Read a poem a day, become a better poet. In April we’re exploring the theme Dragons and Creatures.

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