Tulane University Libraries are celebrating National Poetry Month this April by inviting anyone from the Tulane community—students, faculty, staff and alumni— to submit their favorite short poems from any period, in any style and any language.
To participate, please provide your name, affiliation, the poem you want to share, some information about it, even a short video of yourself reading the poem here. Submissions will be shared on the libraries’ social media channels and website to celebrate both poetry and the Tulane community.
Tulane professor of English Michael Kuczynski notes, "In a time when we have to keep our physical distance from each other, one of the advantages of poetry is that it can help us be together in spirit."
“For millennia, human beings have expressed themselves in poems.”
- David Banush
Matthew Sumpter, a visiting faculty member in Tulane’s English Department, contributed an original poem for the project with the hope that it would give voice to some feelings—worry, disorientation, loss— that many are facing. Carrie Moulder, a marketing and communications specialist at Tulane’s School of Social Work, says of her contribution, “Emily Dickinson is the first poet I discovered that spoke to me. Every other poet seemed to have feelings and emotions that were so distant. Dickinson echoed so perfectly how I felt, a bit dark but still hanging onto beauty.”
Other contributors, like Robert Chumbley, a student in the political economy program, have used the event as an opportunity to reflect upon our current circumstances through the written word.
Need inspiration? April marks the birth month of many acclaimed poets, such as Maya Angelou, Etheridge Knight, William Shakespeare and Yusef Komunyakaa. Original work is also welcome, as is any piece that explores the relationship between poetry and music, whether jazz, hip-hop, folk or country.
“The power of poetry lies in community,” notes David Banush, dean of libraries at Tulane. “For millennia, human beings have expressed themselves in poems. We hope to bring all Tulanians together in that spirit during this challenging time.”
View previous submissions and add yours here.