Poetry is everywhere. It’s not just found in poetry books, but it is embedded in prose, within the lyrics of your favorite song and lodged in encouraging messages from friends.
And you don’t have to be a skilled poet to write words that touch the lives of others.
That’s what Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle wants residents of Carrboro to keep in mind this April, which she declared poetry month in a proclamation released on April 6th, in conjunction with National Poetry Month. Throughout April, the Town of Carrboro will recognize poetry month with events such as “Poem in Your Pocket Day” on Thursday, April 29, and a Zoom poetry reading, featuring a menu of local poets, on Monday, April 26.
“I mean, to me, poetry is not just about poems, it’s about the creative impulse,” Fred Joiner, Carrboro’s poet laureate since 2019, said. “I think Carrboro prides itself on being a town that celebrates creativity, that celebrates discovery and learning.”
Joiner leads the Carrboro Poets Council, which is a group of volunteers working to advance poetry in Carrboro.
“We read poems at every Town Council meeting,” Joiner said. “It’s usually just me by myself, but this month, every Tuesday, someone on the poet’s council will be reading a poem to open the meeting.”
Joiner, alongside CJ Suitt, the poet laureate of Chapel Hill, will also be administering writing workshops for middle and high school kids. Joiner said sharing poetry looks different these days.
“It’s hard during this time because we can’t gather in person,” Joiner said. “It’s always just trying to figure out ways to make sure that we’re advancing poetry and letting people understand how important poetry as a literary thing is.”
This month, Lavelle has added poetry into her regular appearances as mayor.