Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? It's the largest literary celebration in the world, established by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. Support the Academy and be an advocate for poetry. Learn more at http://www.poets.org/.
The National Endowment for the Arts sponsors an annual poetry reading for high school students with a $20,000 college scholarship as its prize. Find out more about Poetry Out Loud at
The Emily Dickinson Museum is in Amherst, Massachusetts. Donna: "I wrote 'Empathy, Miss Emily' because I admire Miss Dickinson, and because the longer I live, the more I admit to a certain affinity."
You can visit the Robert Frost Farm in Derry, New Hampshire, where Frost and his family lived from 1900 to 1911; it's a National Historic Landmark. Or see Connemara in Flat Rock, North Carolina, where Carl Sandburg lived the last 22 years of his life. Not to be outdone, the "most popular poet in America," circa 1920, has two homes worth a visit in Indiana: The James Whitcomb Riley Boyhood Home and Museum in Greenfield, and the James Whitcomb Riley Home in Indianapolis, which supports the Riley Hospital and Riley Children's Foundation. Not a bad legacy for a writer of rhymes. Donna: "When I was a child my grandmother used to recite 'Little Orphant Annie' to me on request. I memorized it and did the same for my younger brother Tom . . . especially around Halloween ('an the Gobble-uns'll git you ef you don't watch out!')."
Ask any author or journalist. Unless you're someone like Steven King or the enterprising James Patterson--or you're the latest celebrity to tell all--there's not much money to be made by writing. But one man in the last century proved the exception to the rule. He made (and lost) a fortune and was the mega superstar of his time. If you visit the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Connecticut, "the house with a heart and soul," you will be impressed--by Sam Clemens and by the power of the pen.
There appears to be plenty of money to be made, however, once a writer is dead. When you research Edgar Allen Poe online, you will find ties to his Boston birthplace, to a cottage in the Bronx, and to his "happiest home" in Philadelphia. There are at least two museums dedicated to the tragic master of macabre--one in Richmond, Virginia and one at his aunt's tiny house in Baltimore, where you can also pay respects at his grave. Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House is in Concord, Massachusetts. You will find Jack London State Historic Park and the National Steinbeck Center in California, and the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West, Florida. At most of these sites there is a museum store to order from or a way to donate online. Not that there's anything wrong with that!
. . . if you're a fan of Christmas! Donna Lee Davis has another Website, called Paradise Tree.
It's devoted to "keeping Christ in Christmas." At Paradise Tree you will find information about the entire season--from Advent to Epiphany--wonderful resources, many free downloads that will delight, and a full page of links to enjoy. Don't wait for late November to roll around. Visit www.paradisetree.org today and bookmark it! You'll be glad you did!