In 1996, the Academy of American Poets inaugurated National Poetry Month, which is celebrated every April in the United States. Schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers and poets throughout the country band together to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture. Individuals and organizations participate through readings, festivals, book displays, workshops and other poetry-related events to commemorate a genre that is reviving itself as a viable contributor to the development of creativity, awareness and education around the nation.
In a statement from Mayor Lavelle, “I believe that poetry has a special place in the hearts of Carrboro art lovers. Carrboro itself is like a poem. We are diverse. We need to be experienced actively, not passively. We are deeper than we appear on the surface and the more time you spend with us, the more you appreciate our unique structure. Also, Carrboro enjoys being open to interpretation – we like being something different to each person.” Mayor Lavelle joins several mayors from towns and cities throughout the state, at the request of North Carolina poet Kym Gordon Moore, to show the influence poetry has on the arts, education and humanities. She expresses how poetry influences the Town of Carrboro by noting, “Last year, our local Arts Center held a community reading of “Song of Myself” on the lawn of Weaver Street Market, a town gathering spot. More than three dozen readers signed up to participate, including myself and my then 14 year old son. I can’t say for sure that he actually liked his part of the poem – he had to read about dead people - but the reading caused him to reflect on it, and I am certain he will never forget it. When he next approaches that poem, perhaps in college, his experience of it will be indelibly shaped by the memory of that public reading. This power of poetry is one of the reasons I am excited to join in this recognition of National Poetry Month.” It is clearly evident how poetry plays a creative and active role in the arts and culture of Carrboro. To learn more about this historic and culturally diverse community visit http://www.ci.carrboro.nc.us/
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