Poetry in community.
April a favorite month among booksellers because it is National POETRY MONTH. Poetry is one of those sections in a bookstore that never sells enough to justify its space, but no bookseller can bear to part with. This is the one time of the year when booksellers have an excuse to talk poetry to all of their unsuspecting customers.
Stores do all sorts of things for the month– they give discounts to customers who recite poems at the cash register. They put out typewriters for patrons to test drive. They hand out little poems like fortune cookies, and invite customers to write poetry with chalk on the sidewalk pavement in front of their shops.
Of course, these are all “in the store” things, and “in the store” for the last year and counting may not yet be possible. Poetry window displays have become poetry Instagram posts. Impromptu poetry readings have turned into virtual events. And April remains a favorite time for new poetry books to be published (and bought). Amanda Gorman’s stirring Inaugural Poem, The Hill We Rise currently tops the bestseller list.
Friendly City Books in Columbus, Mississippi is doing all of it. The are hosting an Earthday Poetry virtual event , have created a Poetry subscription box, and are publishing a new book by Thomas Richardson. And perhaps the coolest thing…they have started a community poem, “What Columbus Means to Me“. If you live in Columbus you can submit the next line by 4/16. It should rhyme with “gold.”
What is your local bookshop doing for Poetry month?
More bookseller reviews at SBR:
In this issue:
Bookseller Buzz: Mirrorland by Carole Johnstone
Reviews of Filthy Animals by Brandon Taylor, The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin, The Haunting of Alma Fielding by Kate Summerscale, Bubbles . . . Up! by Jacqueline Davies, Sonia Sánchez (Illus.), The Barbizon by Paulina Bren, and Of Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia.