April marks the beginning of National Poetry Month, which celebrates the joy and pure delight of poetry, the voice of the soul. Consider checking out some new poetry books or pulling out old ones from your bookshelf. I'll miss all the poetry readings that usually occur around town, but I'm hopeful that next year will be better and all of us can connect in person as we honor the art of poetry.

Speaking of being better, April 3rd is National Rainbow Day. Is there anything more beautiful and uplifting than a rainbow? This day is especially meaningful now as we emerge from the pandemic and being sheltered in place for more than a year. I'm happy to have had both doses of the Moderna vaccine in February, and I continue to volunteer at the vaccine centers in my part of the world. I'm sorry that I let my nursing license lapse, so I'm not able to administer shots, but I can help with line control and monitoring the observation areas. I must say, it's strange being surrounded by so many people after a year of quarantine.

Speaking of quarantine and health, April 7th is World Health Day. We're so dependent on our health in so many areas of our lives. As my father used to say, "Health comes first; we are nothing without our health." So please honor and take care of yourself!

April 22nd is Earth Day, which is also important to celebrate. This past year, I've been very grateful for the earth, as I've spent a lot of time hiking and walking on the beach. We need to take care of our earth for both present and future generations.

April 23rd is National Book Day. Well, as a writer, need I say more? Since childhood, books have been a vital part of my life. I'd love to hear about any good books you've read over the past year. What types of works helped you get through the pandemic?

Be well. Be safe.

  • Write a poem about a pandemic experience.
  • Write about your favorite poem.
  • Write about your favorite book.
  • Write about what you will do to honor National Poetry Month.
The Wisdom of Jonathan Sacks: Morality and Dignity (article). The Wisdom Daily. March 3, 2021.

"Honoring Women's History Month: Anais Nin" (blog). Sixty and Me. March 10, 2021.

"The Dance." (poem). Coneflower Cafe. March 2021.

"Listen to Me" (poem). Third Wednesday: A Quarterly Journal of Literary and Visual Arts." Spring 2021.

“Writing Therapy for the New Year” (article). Therapeutic Thymes. March 2021.

Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within (nonfiction) by Kim Addonizio

This classic was published in 2009 and is still one of my very favorites, plus I love the title. I've picked up this book on occasion simply for a shot of inspiration. It has so many offerings for all levels of poets. The author claims that "your genius" is your own profound desire to write.

I always begin my poems with a title, but I haven't heard many poets speak about this. Addonizio is one of the first. As she says, "Titles draw us in even before first lines." Personally, the title also guides the direction of my poems. In addition to offering many writing prompts, the author says that when reading and studying poetry, it's important to listen to the silence at the end of each line. "Look at the white space surrounding the words" (p. 66). I love that!

Addonizio also talks about writing about one's demons, which happens a lot among poets. "Everyone has demons," she writes. It's so true that the shadow and the light are within us, and the trick is to get it onto the page. Happy writing to all of you!

Celebrate the women in your life this Mother's Day. Whether it's your mother, your grandmother, someone else's mother, or your tribe of mom friends...the importance of honoring our human connections and sharing our stories has never been more important.

I've created Conversation Cards for Meaningful Storytelling as a way to connect with family and friends in person, over the phone, or via video chat—across the table or across the miles.

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