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It exists in the most sacred and most profane corners of our lives, from the illuminated spiritual texts that have created our planet’s moral codes to corny couplets tucked neatly into Hallmark cards. Poetry is read aloud at weddings and funerals, at christenings and wakes, under the covers and over bottles of wine. All of us, whether we know it or not, speak in poetry. We use metaphors and similes and images to explain our lives to others. Poetry is the humanizing and empathetic body of our language. In some countries whole soccer stadiums fill with citizens to hear a single poet and in some a small gathering of twenty people will sit in a café to hear a human voice sing. For all our differences, poetry is a constant art form that connects our different languages. It’s a seer and a healer, an instigator and a diplomat.
Last October, I wrote a Call to Arms to advocate for poetry, and now, during National Poetry Month, I would like to raise the flag, raise the fist once more! Tin House and Coffee House, along with YesYes Books, Sarabande Books, Archipelago, BOA, Red Hen, Milkweed, and Copper Canyon Press, invite you to join in an experiment to share poetry with loved ones and strangers who normally do not read poems. For every book of poetry you purchase in the month of April, another book will be sent to you or to the person of your choice for free. The idea is to share poetry, to advocate for an art form that creates empathy and connection in a world complicated by cynicism. Join us and you join a love movement!