In a proclamation issued on April 1, 1996, President Bill Clinton declared: “National Poetry Month offers us a welcome opportunity to celebrate not only the unsurpassed body of literature produced by our poets in the past, but also the vitality and diversity of voices reflected in the works of today’s American poetry….Their creativity and wealth of language enrich our culture and inspire a new generation of Americans to learn the power of reading and writing at its best.” Each year, a special poster is commissioned, with almost 150,000 copies distributed to schools, libraries, and community centres for free, this year the poster has been designed by #NewYorker, #illustrator, #RozChast.
In 2002, the first #PoetryandtheCreativeMind gala took place to raise funds in support of National Poetry Month, and it has become an annual event. Each year the #AcademyofAmericanPoets invites some of America’s leading artists and public figures to read their favourite poems. Hosted each year by two-time Academy Award-winning actress #MerylStreep, the event has featured readings by #LiamNeeson, #MinnieDriver, #DianevonFürstenberg, #WyntonMarsalis, #AlanAlda, #DianneWiest and #GloriaVanderbilt amongst others. The Gala in a couple of weeks will feature readings by: actress, #HollyHunter; chef and restaurateur – #AnitaLo; Grammy, Emmy, and Tony Award nominee – #VanessaWilliams (also known as our fave #UglyBetty character – #WilhelminaSlater); and Academy Award-nominated actress and producer – #DebraWinger.
To celebrate National Poetry Month we have chosen this verse by #MaySwenson, appropriately, considering the main SS15 trend, entitled: ‘Fashion in the 70’s’. Anna “May” Swenson was an American poet and playwright who is considered one of the most important and original poets of the 20th century. Although ‘Fashion in the 70’s’ marks a departure from her existential, intense early work; it does reflect the new attitude starting to emerge in her work, a somewhat more conversational, more mundane and more humorous ‘tone of voice’.
The poem is a commentary on the fashion of the day – she notes glasses with black frames, faces framed in black beards, black leather or plastic jackets and boots, floppy black pants and sleazy black body-shirts: everyone looking “hoody,” blacks and whites alike. The other side of it, she says, is that some whites want to look dead, especially the women. The result, she summarises, is that everyone seems to want to look ugly, as if the ugly has somehow become the beautiful. This ode to a prominent 70’s trend could be written today. If we really consider #SS15 trends, we see a prevalent theme of darkness pervade many of the collections from the world’s most influential designers. At a time when we are emerging from the gloom of the winter months, our wardrobes should be transitioning from the dark to the light; clothes which lift our mood not suppress it. Summer fashion should help make us look healthy; highlighting the ubiquitous summer glow. Many of the models on the catwalks back in September 2014 looked like they had just staggered out of a nightclub at 4am, nothing wrong with that per se, we love to party hard here at THREE FLOOR towers, but we also like to shed our winter skins and allow some timely brightness back into our lives.