Poets: Outreach Is Important

If we want poetry to be recognized as a valuable art, we need to be more active in sharing our creativity with others. National Poetry Month, April, is always an especially productive month for me in  getting the word out about poetry and sharing my passion for it with others.

Those of you who’ve followed my blog know that I write haiku, have authored, Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All, and am Second Vice President of the Haiku Society of America. But I write other forms of poetry, too, and am a published writer of many genres. : q

When I gave a presentation during April at the North Carolina Haiku Society’s annual conference, I stressed that in order to really understand haiku, it’s helpful to not only write other forms of poetry, but to write in other genres, too. My presentation was “Finding Your Distinctive Voice in Haiku,” and I told haikuists that it’s easier to define your distinctive voice in haiku if you write other forms.

As a writer of many genres, you will find patterns in not only the themes you write about, but in your writing style, such as diction, literary devices, tone, mood, rhythm, pace, sound/music, imagery, syntax, etc.

Your personality and character will always come through in your writing, and you should let all your voices speak, even the conflicting ones. You can be both a sage and a fool, for example.

Poets Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Langston Hughes, and e.e. cummings all had distinctive voices that are widely recognizable.

During April, I also gave presentations at libraries and at THENEWSTUDIO (spelled just like that) in Evanston, IL. I was privileged to get my message out about poetry through two newspaper articles, one a interview feature story about me in the Chicago Tribune’s Lake County chain of weeklies, and in The News & Observer in Raleigh, NC.

In other April poetry events, I was a winner of a Midwest competition, to have my haiku inscribed on a metal plaque to be placed on a rock in Millersburg, Ohio at The Inn at Honey Run. About twenty poets were winners. The poems will be featured along “The Haiku Path: My winning haiku is:

deep in the old growth

a downy woodpecker drums

to the warbler’s trill

In other news, Carlos Colon of Louisiana read my senryu ( a humorous haiku) at a poetry reading of the Trapped Truth Society in Shreveport:

leaving the bank

with six figures

on the odometer

One of my poems,”My Childhood Home,” written in the etheree form was displayed on The Rockford Writers’ Guild Facebook page as an instructional tool for etherees. The form consists of ten lines of unmetered and unrhymed verse. The first line has one syllable, each succeeding line adding a syllable, with a total syllable count of fifty-five. An etheree focuses on one idea or subject.




of baked apples.

I sell my white nest

amid scarlet maples,

toothy pumpkins line the steps.

Childhood memories dissipate

in the deepening gray chill of dusk.

A green-faced witch grins on the weathered gate.

Also in April, my haiku was displayed among other poets’ work, at the Highland Park Public Library in Highland Park, IL, a joint exhibit of Highland Park Poetry and the Illinois State Poetry Society:

dusk . . .

on the express train

motionless faces

(During the last week of March, my haiku was displayed in conjunction with an art exhibit  by Illinois Artist Lidia Rozmus at The Polish Museum of America in Chicago.) It was:

wooded hills . . .

the evening downpour

fogs distant city lights

I always notify alumni associations of my doings, and my activities are always posted in their newsletters, often resulting in profile feature articles about me. The University of Chicago’s Chicago Women’s Alliance, its Alumni Club of Chicago, its Alumni Club of North Carolina, and its Arts Alumni Network Newsletter ran news pertaining to my National Poetry Month activities.

Whenever a poet does outreach, it not only helps the poet market her books and get invited to speak at more places, but it helps us all elevate the visibility of poetry among the public.

So bottom line is, don’t be a poetry recluse. You can live and breath poetry, but also spread the joy around for everyone’s benefit!

Copyright 2015 by Charlotte Digregorio.

About Charlotte Digregorio

I publish books. I have marketed and/or published 55 titles. These books are sold in 46 countries to bookstores, libraries, universities, professional organizations, government agencies, and book clubs. In 2018, I was honored by the Governor of Illinois for my thirty-eight years of accomplishments in the literary arts, and my work to promote and advance the field by educating adults and students alike. I am the author of seven books including: Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All; Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Homes; You Can Be A Columnist; Beginners' Guide to Writing & Selling Quality Features; Your Original Personal Ad; and my latest, Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing. The first four books have been adopted as supplemental texts at universities throughout the U.S., Canada, India, Pakistan, and Catalonia. They are sold in 43 countries, and are displayed in major metropolitan cultural centers. These books have been reviewed, recommended, and praised by hundreds of critics, librarians, and professors worldwide. I am also the author of a poetry collection: "Shadows of Seasons: Selected Haiku and Senryu by Charlotte Digregorio." Two of my books have been Featured Selections of Writer's Digest Book Club. I am regularly interviewed by major print, radio, and television organizations throughout the U.S. I regularly sign books at libraries, chain bookstores, and university bookstores, and do poetry readings at art centers, cafes, tea houses, and galleries. I was recently nominated for two Pushcart Prizes in poetry. I have won fifty-nine poetry awards, writing fourteen poetic forms. My poetry has been translated into eight languages. I do illustrated solo poetry exhibits 365 days a year in libraries, galleries, corporate buildings, hospitals, convention centers, and other venues. My individual poems have been displayed at supermarkets, apparel and wine shops, banks, botanic gardens, restaurants, and on public transit. I have been nominated and listed in "The International Authors and Writers Who's Who" in Cambridge, England and in the "Who's Who In Writers, Editors & Poets U.S./Canada." I hosted my own radio program, "Poetry Beat," on public broadcasting. My poetry has been featured on several library web sites including those of Shreve Memorial Library in Louisiana and Cornell University's Mann Library. My background includes positions as a feature editor and columnist at daily newspapers and as a magazine editor. I have been a public relations director for a non-profit organization. I am self-employed as a public relations/marketing consultant, having served a total of 118 clients in 23 states for the past several decades . In other professional areas, I have been on university faculties, teaching French, Italian, and Writing. I regularly give lectures and workshops on publishing, journalism, publicity, poetry, and creativity to business and professional groups, and at writer's conferences, universities, literary festivals, non-profit organizations, and libraries. I have been a writer-in-residence at universities. There have been about 400 articles written about me in the media. I have served on the Boards of writers and publishers organizations. My positions have included Board Secretary of the Northwest Association of Book Publishers. I served for five years as Midwest Regional Coordinator of The Haiku Society of America, and for two years as its Second Vice President.
This entry was posted in creative writing, Creativity, Etheree, Haiku, Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All, Haiku books, Poems, Poetic Voice, Poetry, Poetry Outreach, Poetry Presentations, Poetry Readings, Poetry Workshops, Poets, Reading Poetry, Senryu, Writing, Writing Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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