In month devoted to poetry, the art form flourishes

  • Article by: LAURIE HERTZEL
  • Updated: April 12, 2009 - 11:47 AM

Books page editor Laurie Hertzel

Photo: Tom Sweeney, Star Tribune

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April is National Poetry Month, and if you take a look around, you'll see there are myriad ways to add a little poetry to your life. Readings abound. Alfred A. Knopf is sending me (and thousands of others) a poem a day by e-mail all month. Some are lovely. Some are not. But so what? There will be another one tomorrow.

Farrar Straus and Giroux has revived its poetry blog (www.fsgpoetry.com), with editors from St. Paul's Graywolf Press blogging on Fridays.

If you like your poetry short and enigmatic, check out www.haikubytwo.com, written by Kelly Westhoff of Plymouth and her friend Alison Kehler of New York. They post a haiku a day, some written by them, some written by guest writers -- including Lynne Jonell, a Minnesota Book Award winner, and St. Paul writer Stephanie Watson, author of the popular "Elvis and Olive."

Westhoff will be at the Bookcase in Wayzata this month to talk about haiku, read haiku and, with luck, get you and whoever else is in attendance to write haiku. 7 p.m. April 20 and 30.

And, as she points out, because the event is in a bookstore, there will be plenty of books of poetry for you to buy. Yet another way to add poetry to your life.

Also ...

• "It's Raining Cats and Cats," a picture book published by Emilie Buchwald's Gryphon Press of Minneapolis, has won the 2008 ASPCA's Henry Bergh Award. "A Home for Dakota," also published by Gryphon, was the honor book. The award will be given in July at the American Library Association conference.

• Irish poet Mary O'Malley will be honored this month with the 13th annual Lawrence O'Shaughnessay Award for Poetry from the University of St. Thomas. O'Malley is writer-in-residence at the National University of Ireland in Galway city and has published six collections of poetry. The award carries a $5,000 prize. Past winners include Eavan Boland, Dennis O'Driscoll and Thomas McCarthy. O'Malley will be in conversation with St. Paul writer Margaret Hasse at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Hamline Midway Library, 1558 W. Minnehaha Av., St. Paul. O'Malley will also read her poetry at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the auditorium of the John Roach Center for Liberal Art at the University of St. Thomas.

See? Poetry abounds.

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