MANA Celebrates National Poetry Month!

April is National Poetry Month, an annual celebration that recognizes the important role that poets play in our culture and that poetry matters.

The American Academy of American Poets (AAAP) established the event in 1996 and it has since become the largest literary celebration in the world. 

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the annual literary celebration:

The goal of National Poetry Month is to: 

• highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets;
• encouraging the reading of poetry;
• help teachers in bringing poetry into their classroom;
• encourage increased publication and distribution of poetry books; and
• encourage support for poets and poetry.

AAAP Sponsors Poster Contest

Winning Poster
In c
elebration of the 25th anniversary, the AAAP sponsored a 2021 National Poetry Month Poster Contest. The AAAP invited 9th through 12th-grade students to submit artwork that incorporated lines from the poem "For Keeps" by the current U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo and that reflected the art of poetry. 

The winner was Bao Lu, a 12th-grader from Edward R. Murrow High School in Brooklyn, New York. Lu chose the following lines:

"There is nowhere else I want to be but here.
I lean into the rhythm of your heart to see where it will take us."

In his artist's statement, Lu said he chose these lines, in part, because:
Love and connections armotivations that I think are very intertwined in my thought process. I find myself fascinated with love, and how that manifests in our daily lives... But there is a cruel irony that I have observed: in an age of infinite connection (whether it's social media, etc.), I find that there is deprivation of human interaction and a struggle to look for a higher meaning of love.


MANA's Celebration of National Poetry Month (MANA) supports thefforts of the AAAP. We help poets and writers of prose self-publish and market their works. In recognition of National Poetry Month, we will introduce you to poetry written by MANA authors and by familiar writers. 

If you are a poetry lover, then we hope you enjoy the poetry excerpts we provide this month on our social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) and blog posts. 

You may also enjoy the collection of poetry and prose from MANA authors. To preview the books and to find out more information, click on the book's title which will take you to the book's page on MANA's website:

A Collection of Prayers of an Alpha Man by Clarence C. Straham Sr. These inspirational prayers function as a modern-day Book of Psalms. There is a prayer for every need or challenge faced by any individual. The 242 prayers can serve as inspiration for speeches, sermons, and personal texts.

A Soldier's Poetic Response: A Slice of His Life by Captain Adrian D. Massey. Captain Massey reflects about his role as a soldier but as a friend and as a person of the world. 

Autism—Poetic Pride by "Queen" Anya Rutz. This book speaks to anyone who has been confronted by life's moments, mentally knocked down, and spiritually uplifted. The messages are appropriate for any reader who appreciates the power of poetry. 

Della's Writings, A Senior Citizen's Poetry and Short Stories by Della Frye. This is a collection of short stories and poems that entertain both adults and children. There are 14 short stories and over 700 poems that cover every facet of life.

From War to When by Hilary George. The poet and her family actually fled England during World War II and settled in Australia. This collection of poetry transports readers from the strife of personal and global wars to a "when" of promised peace.

God's Gift to Me: I Share with You—Book One by Doris Zarzycki
God's Gift to Me: I Share with You—Book Two by Doris Zarzycki 
The poems in both books elicit words of wisdom that help readers make sense of the world during some of its most trying times. These books help readers discover the good in themselves and be able to survive and thrive in the world.

Meta-tations: A Book of Mental Meanderings by Dr. Jerry L. CurtisThis poet shares reflections about art, the earth, love, and humor, and other themes that are carried through the poetry. 

Poems of the Spirit: In God's Hands by Shirley Barnett. This collection of poems focuses on various aspects of life. Readers do not have to be of any particular religion to appreciate these works since these poems speak to the spirit of its readers. The messages in the poems will help readers get through the challenges of daily life. 

Selling Memories: Tales for my Grandchildren When They Grow Up by Rita Gitik. Every tale and poem will touch the hearts and souls of many grandchildren who may think their grandmothers do not understand their many experiences with life. 

Simply: A Collection of Poetry by Jessyca Mathews. This variety of poetry appeals to the "children in an adult," reflecting on special memories readers will hold dear. This work won the 2013 MANA Passion for Poetry Poet contest.

Sweet Ache by Elesia K. Powell. This collection of poems reflects a combination of Jamaican and American heritage. The subject matter of the poems vary, from the love of a mother for her child to the love of a woman for a man. The poems reflect the raw honesty of the heart. This work won the 2014 MANA Passion for Poetry Poet contest.

Are You Ready to Publish Your Poetry or Prose?

Do you have a collection of poetry or prose that you would like to have published? Then, check out MANA's May Spring Publishing Offers. Go HERE to our blog post to find out more information about the offers. 

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