Building A Poetry-Centric Community

At our April DiVerse Gaithersburg Poetry Reading, I asked those in attendance to do a little brainstorming about places in the community where they would like to see/hear poetry.  I handed out index cards and provided a little box where they could put the cards after the reading.

As I was cleaning up, I absentmindedly put the lid on the box, threw it in my bag, and headed home.  I didn’t think about it again until later when I cleared out the bag and there was this lovely box to open, which turned out to be a gift of wonderful ideas!

I will also be posting this list on the DiVerse Gaithersburg Poetry Facebook page. Please feel free to add more ideas in the comments or suggest ways in which we can make these ideas reality!

  1. Have a poetry contest.
  2. Have a poetry contest for kids.
  3. Display poetry in art galleries.
  4. Have readings at charity events.
  5. Televise poetry readings on local access stations and/or broadcast on local radio stations.
  6. Put featured poems/poets on flyers advertising the DiVerse Gaithersburg Poetry Reading and put them on community bulletin boards (Starbucks, grocery stores, etc.).
  7. Write poems on sidewalks.
  8. Put poetry on bus stops, benches, and the sides of buses.
  9. Hold poetry slams.
  10. Have cooperative writing events where poets get together and write.
  11. Have a poetry bulletin board at the Gaithersburg Book Festival where people can post poems.
  12. Connect with the English department at Montgomery County Community College.
  13. Hold a kids-oriented poetry event/reading.
  14. Hang poems/quotes from poets from lampposts.
  15. Haiku signs in flower beds (an idea that has been done in DC).
  16. A zine.
  17. Put poems on the sides of buildings.
  18. Poetry workshops at assisted living/senior centers.
  19. Have poets visit schools.
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