April is Here and So Is National Poetry Month 2016!

April is here and that means that so is National Poetry Month 2016! National Poetry Month is the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K-12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, bloggers, and, of course, poets marking poetry’s important place in our culture and our lives.

While we should celebrate poets and poetry year-round, the Academy of American Poets was inspired by the successful celebrations of Black History Month (February) and Women’s History Month (March), and founded National Poetry Month in April 1996 with an aim to:

  • highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets, encourage the reading of poems,
  • assist teachers in bringing poetry into their classrooms,
  • increase the attention paid to poetry by national and local media,
  • encourage increased publication and distribution of poetry books, and
  • encourage support for poets and poetry.
  • You can learn more about National Poetry Month and how you can be involved by visiting the National Poetry Month 2016 web page at Poets.orge. Celebrate poetry and have fun!



    Serene Sunrise – Photography by Rick Stephen


    The sun breaks the horizon over a serene Lake Elsinore in southern California. I miss having the time to stop by the lake in the early mornings as when this photo was taken. It was a good way to start the day and a habit I need to resume. I hope you enjoyed the photo! Click on the photo to see this photo and others in my portfolio.



    Micropoetry – Alone on the Porch


    alone on the porch,
    the sun burning a hole
    in the horizon,
    a breeze, gentle,
    ever so slight,
    caresses my face and,
    closing my eyes,
    your breath



    Sublime Swallowtail by Rick Stephen


    Sometimes I just get lucky as in this case. I took my camera to a local park while on my lunch break yesterday. One end of the park attracts butterflies, primarily Swallowtails, Monarch, Mourning Cloak and lots of Skippers. This beautiful Swallowtail was flying to within arms length of me, turning and then coming back. Finally, it settled down on a bush mere feet away. With my zoom macro lens, I was able to capture a few frames of this sublime beauty. It was as if she wanted my attention and then posed for me. Would that all these beautiful creatures be so cooperative. I hope you enjoy the photo!



    Clouds in Sepia Tone – Rick Stephen


    You can purchase this photograph in many different formats (framed, canvas, acrylic or metal prints and more) on my Fine Art America artist page. Just click on the photo.



    Don’t Give Up …


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    Event Alert: Poets and Dreamers Fiction & Poetry Literary Reading Series

    If you’re located in Southern California, southern Orange County in particular, here’s a poetry event that may be of interest to you. Here are the particulars:

    Event Type: Poetry/Fiction Reading/Performance
    Event Date and Time: October 24, 2015 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

    Description: Poets and Dreamers authors of fiction, poetry & memoir will gather to perform selected sections of thier works; signed books will be available for purchase.

    Anne Tammel, author of fiction and poetry, will read selected works from her upcoming fiction series.

    Poets and Dreamers Fiction & Poetry Reading Series at Village Book Exchange
    99 Avenida Serra
    San Clemente, CA 92673
    View on map

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    This Life Apart- by Rick Stephen


    This Life Apart

    Silence reigns
    as raindrops fall
    and echoes down
    the empty halls

    Of a mind forlorn,
    too numb to see
    what life holds,
    what could still be

    His senses dulled
    life became gray
    yet he stumbles on
    day after day

    Without human touch,
    his heart’s grown cold
    and though still young
    he feels so sold

    So out of touch
    with his own soul
    he doesn’t know
    he’s no longer whole

    Even if he could,
    he wouldn’t start
    having grown to need
    this life apart



    The Ramblings of a Poetic Fool Now Available for Kindle!

    rpfkindleI’m happy to announce that my book, “The Ramblings of a Poetic Fool”, is now available for Kindle! That means you can enjoy my poems anywhere on your smartphone, tablet or computer using the Kindle Reader app. If you’ve hesitated or been unable to buy the print version of my book, at $2.99, I think it’s a real steal. You can see and buy the Kindle version here. Give it a look. I hope you will enjoy it and leave a review on the Amazon website. Thanks so much for reading!

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    Just Sharing An Excellent Article on Sylvia Plath

    sylvia-plathFor today’s post I’d just like to share a link to an excellent article on Poet Sylvia Plath on the Poetry Foundation website.

    This article was one of several in the Poetry Foundation’s latest newsletter. You can sign up to receive their bi-weekly newsletter and other newsletters here, if you wish. I’d encourage you to do so, if you love poetry. They’re great resources!

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