Poetry Month Defined by "New Poets"

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Rhyming poetry is making a comeback.

April is National Poetry Month, and is being celebrated by a new genre of poets. These "new" poets are bringing back old traditions of rhyme and meter, after years of prose poetry that started with the language poetry of the 1970's.

Janet Carr Hull is such a poet, hailing from Beaufort, South Carolina, home of Pat Conroy, and other nationally known writers. Beaufort is a town that is now considered one of the three literary hubs in the United States.

Hull's book, The World: Poetic Connections, has been well received; In her words, "I believe that people who like rhyming, metered poetry feel that contemporary poetry has left them behind. The rambling prose and obscure, remote references we see in most of today's poetry is just not something that helps the average reader to connect with poetry. The sad result is that people just don't read much of it today."

In her blog, Hull tells readers that "Poetry is my novel. I can read a poem and get the same feeling that I get from reading good fiction". In today's busy world, many working professionals just don't have the time to read a novel, and according to Hull, poetry is the answer.

Are other poets following suit, with more accessible poetry, and poetry that is primarily rhyming and metered? Hull thinks so. There is a great revival of interest in the works of Richard Wilbur, a poetry icon who has kept the old traditions alive. Wilbur said recently in an interview in Poets & Writers Magazine that he doesn't read much contemporary poetry, finding much of it excessively personal and flat, the language no more interesting than that of "the fellow on the next bar stool".

"The challenge of poets today lies in making poetry readable by keeping old traditions, but writing in today's context, and for today's world", Hull says.

In addition to public appearances throughout the southeast, Hull plans to celebrate poetry month by passing out "Random Acts of Poetry", cards with her printed poems, and links to the Academy of American Poets website.

"We must get the word out to the people, the readers, by sharing and performing rhyming, metered poetry", Hull says. She hopes that in this way, April, National Poetry Month, will never be the same.


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