By Geo Ong
It’s entirely possible that all my articles this month will be poetry-related. As you might know, April is National Poetry Month in the United States and I am all for celebrating things that deserve much more than they usually get.
I’ll now be celebrating National Poetry Month for the third year. Admittedly, I’m late to the party, but I would have missed it entirely if it wasn’t for my old boss, a bookstore owner and poetry lover. He shared what poetry meant to him, and that was the beginning of it all. I still feel like it’s a defining moment for me, which thankfully was documented on film.
As if my introduction to poetry wasn’t fortunate enough, I’ve lately enjoyed the company of several people who live the life not many others comprehend: the professional life of a poet. One of them, in fact, will be taking me to my very first poetry slam tomorrow. At the Apollo Theater in Harlem, no less. She’ll be one of the judges, and I’ll get to sit with her in the judges’ booth, whispering insignificant observations to her while she pretends not to hear me over the noise. I’m quite excited.
My National Poetry Month is shaping up to be a great one. More so, this year’s official poster, designed by Chin Yee-Lai, strikes an elegant tone, featuring the powerful last breaths of Philip Levine’s ‘Our Valley’.