Support for the literary organizations that promote and nurture the art of poetry is one of the most important ways you can celebrate National Poetry Month. Many national and local literary organizations offer programs that reach out to the general public, students, teachers, librarians, booksellers, and publishers, to broaden the recognition of poets and their work. Show your commitment to these organizations by going to their events, spreading the word about their work, and making a donation by joining their membership programs.
The Academy of American Poets offers membership at many different levels, each with its own benefits, ranging from our literary journal and award-winning books to specially produced recordings and broadsides—you can even join online.
Other national organizations that offer membership programs include PEN American Center, Poets & Writers, Teachers & Writers Collaborative, Poets House, and Poetry Society of America, among many others.
All of these organizations are recognized by the U.S. government as 501(c)3 nonprofit charities, which means that any donation to them is tax-deductible (minus the value of any benefits you may receive as a member). In addition, to be recognized by the federal government, each organization must comply with strict regulations, including having a public "mission statement" that states the purpose of the organization as well as audited financial records.
Find your homestate on the National Poetry Map on Poets.org and discover the local conferences, organizations, festivals, and poetry-friendly bookstores, journals, and presses in your area.
Before joining a literary organization, ask for its mission statement in order to make sure that your donation will directly help the programs that appeal to you. For example, the Academy's mission is "to support American poets at all stages of their careers and to foster appreciation for contemporary poetry." Members of the Academy provide the resources for such outreach and educational programs as National Poetry Month and Poets.org.