Happy National Poetry Month!

This year is the 20th anniversary of National Poetry Month, which was started in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets as a way to celebrate the written word in schools, libraries, and public spaces across the country.

Here at Tricycle, we’ll spend the month celebrating the rich tradition of Buddhist poetry with a weekly video series. Every Monday this month our poets-in-residence will read a selection of their work, speak about the relationship between Buddhism and the creative process, and leave readers with a writing prompt to try on their own.

We’re starting with Connecticut Poet Laureate Emeritus Dick Allen, who has studied Buddhism for more than 50 years and published eight poetry books. More than 800 of his poems have appeared in magazines, including The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, and our very own pages.

In the video, Allen will first take on the persona of a Zen master and read from his forthcoming book Zen Master Poems (Wisdom Publications, Summer 2016). Then, taking inspiration from the great American poets William Carlos Williams and Wallace Stevens, he will emphasize focus on the present and an object rather than on emotion.

If you’re inspired to celebrate poetry this month beyond your computer screen, the National Poetry Month website has a list of poetry events planned throughout the United States.

Learn more about Dick Allen in our Winter 2012 interview: “Does a Cow Go ‘Mu’?”

Read more from Dick Allen: