Shelley Jackson  
national poetry month  


We have spun around the calendar once again to April, National Poetry Month, days of warmer rain and brighter sun, and of course the typical, dreadful mishandlings of the opening line of T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land: "April is the cruelest month". National Poetry Month is very much an institutional recognition of poetry, an opportunity for publishers to market, bookmongers to vend, schools to instruct, critics to vent, organizations to publicize, and poets to either flee or embrace the abundance of attention. It provides an opportunity for assessment and reflection, to ask the "overwhelming" questions (Eliot would advise, "Oh, do not ask"): where is poetry headed, what does it mean to the culture at large, what can it be in years to come, is it in fact experiencing a rebirth in the Republican United States even in time of war?

The three poets presented by Bold Type this month are one answer among many, three poets at different stages of their careers, Brooks Haxton with his sixth book of poems, Jill Bialosky with her much-anticipated second Knopf collection, and a younger New York poet with two books from independent presses.

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