RED Hearts: Wax Poetic on Poetry

RED Hearts are guests posts on I Heart Daily from the authors of RED: Teenage Girls in America Write On What Fires Up Their Lives Today. Today's RED Hearts post is by Elizabeth Metzger, 21, reporting from New York, NY, who waxes poetic about, well, poetry:

From afar, summer always seems like the ideal time to do some writing -- suddenly a stretch of time when you have long, gorgeous days to dream, muse and scribble, poetry or prose, without the pressure of schoolwork. But then it comes, the summer buzz. Not just fireflies and cicadas but friends back from college who want to lounge at the pool, sunbathe in the park, go dancing. The private life of being a writer has never felt so isolating.

Luckily, if you’re a poet, there are places around the country that bridge the divide between hanging out with others and disappearing into your own head. Through a national program called Branching Out: Poetry for the 21st Century, the New York-based Poets House, the Poetry Society of America, and dozens of public libraries have teamed up to create centers, readings, exhibits, and other events that pulse with literary life and communities of inspiration.

In New York, where I live and the summer’s been hot, I like to settle at the Poets House on a cozy couch -- with a view of the Hudson River, Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty -- to browse their amazing showcase of ALL the poetry books published in the past year. You can duck out for an iced latte in the beautiful garden across the street, or (sick of reading?) listen to cool new writers reading their work on Poets House-provided iPods before taking an evening walk to the Village for a live spoken-word performance.

Poetry no longer has to be for the tortured soul! Instead find a bright and bustling space near you where you can read and listen to writers for free -- while you think about your own poetic plans.

RED Hearts guest posterElizabeth Metzger is an author of RED: Teenage girls in America write on what fires up their lives today, which is now available in paperback.