2011 Fearless Poetry Reading Challenge

I’ve given this a lot of thought since the BBAW awards.  I’m going to host my very first poetry reading challenge.

I’ve been a participant in a few poetry reading challenges, but it always seems as though the participants are people who already read poetry and like it.

So I’m challenging every reader and all your friends to join the year-long 2011 Fearless Poetry Reading Challenge!

My poetry reading challenge is meant to be easy and to challenge everyone to read just 1 book of poetry, whether its contemporary or classic doesn’t matter, as long as you read one.  You can even wait until midway through the challenge and join the read-a-long of a poetry book that I’ll be selecting.

It also doesn’t matter if you like all the poems or not or whether you understand every phrase or line.  This is the challenge in which you Give Poetry a Chance!

If you want to sign up, please leave a link in Mr. Linky and snag the button.

You can tell me how many books you plan to read in the comments if you like.

But remember that as long as you read 1 book, you’ve completed the challenge.  You can’t fail if you just give poetry a try.

If you need direction or suggestions, you can check out my previous reviews or leave a comment about the type of prose writing you enjoy and I can try to match you with a book or poet.

Ok, rules:

1.  2011 Fearless Poetry Reading Challenge will run from Jan. 1, 2011, through Dec. 31, 2011.

2.  Read 1+ books during the year and post a review.

3.  Leave a link to your review in the Mr. Linky.

***Don’t forget to grab the button.***


  1. Did it! Not ecstatic with the final review, but I did it! I’m sure the next one will be easier…

  2. What a great challege! Thanks for hosting. 😀

  3. I can’t believe I missed this challenge! I’m not a huge reader of poetry. I’m not sure why since I love poetry and I have many poetry books. I recently discovered Edna St. Vincent Millay. Wow! Recuerdo is such a wonderful poem. As soon as I heard that poem, I went straight to Project Gutenberg and downloaded all they had of her books onto my Sony Reader. I can’t wait to read the rest!

    Anyway, I’m all signed up!

    • Thanks so much for signing up for the challenge. I hope you enjoy reading more poetry and reviewing it. I’ve listed a bunch of my reviews in the linky already! The point is to have fun!

  4. Even though I’m a poet myself, I haven’t reviewed any poetry; more fiction than anything else. However this year I decided to include more poetry. Here is my very first poetry review (posted before I found out about this challenge).


  5. I went to a wonderful performance yesterday at the Kennedy Center (Washington, DC): American Scrapbook: A Celebration of Verse. Poems were recited/performed from Caroline Kennedy’s two collections – The Best-Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and A Family of Poems: My Favorite Poetry for Children. It was geared to young people, but adults enjoyed it, too. It really was a celebration of poetry as the words came alive. Beautifully staged, great fun, memorable.

    • Sounds like an excellent event. Must be the beginnings of the AWP conference, which I would love to attend, but alas I have prior obligations. I have not read the two collections you speak of here, but sounds like a good place to start for those looking into poetry for the first time.

  6. Here is a ‘sweet’ poetry site to check out.


  7. Thanks for organizing this. I’m joining in!

  8. I’m committing to TWO collections. 🙂

  9. I don’t know if I’m doing this right; I don’t usually participate in challenges! I posted a review of a volume of poetry today at http://necromancyneverpays.blogspot.com/2011/01/container-gardening.html

  10. Una Scribbles says

    I don’t remember the last time that I read a book of poetry. I needed this. Thanks!

  11. I love poetry and my blog is mostly poetry. What a great way to justify doing something I love anyway, and maybe encourage someone else. Happy reading, all.

    • I hope that you’ll sign up in Mr. Linky so some other participants trying poetry for the first time can find some great recommendations.

  12. Do we leave our review links in the same Mr. Linky we used for sign ups or will there be a different one?

  13. I’m in! You’ve recommended poetry that isn’t poetry to me before. I just have yet to pick one up, so I’m excited to join in. 🙂

  14. Thanks for hosting this! I am completely deficient in my knowledge of poetry, and vow every year to read more of it. I am hoping this challenge will help me accomplish this goal (or at least a little bit of it!). I would like to read Emily Dickinson and some of the Transcendentalists (Emerson, Thoreau, Lowell, Whittier).

    • Thanks so much for joining the challenge…be sure to put you link or challenge sign up post in Mr. Linky, along with your review links as you post them.

  15. Found this challenge as I was browsing the Web looking for ideas for my book club – it’s my turn to suggest the next book we read and I had already decided that it would be poetry! I’ll make three or four suggestions to the group who will then votes to select the month’s read; I’ve been having a great time compiling my list to present. Hardly anyone reads poetry these days, and I’m pleased that I’m not the only one who wants to raise awareness of this wonderful literary genre. Count me in!

  16. I’ve made a resolution to read more poetry this coming year, so I’ll definitely be joining in. I have so many poetry books which I’ve never read all the way through and I’m looking forward to stumbling across some new favourites in 2011.

  17. Thank you for hosting this challenge, Serena. I’ll do A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein.

  18. Old English Rose says

    I’ve made a resolution to read more poetry this coming year, so I’ll definitely be joining in. I have so many poetry books which I’ve never read all the way through and I’m looking forward to stumbling across some new favourites in 2011.

  19. I’m new to poetry, I read the Bronte sisters last year and enjoyed it very much. I’m going to try to read one this year as well. Thanks for the challenge.

    • Kaye: I’m so glad that you enjoyed the Brontes poems. I loved them this year as well. I hope you find another one in 2011 that you enjoy! Thanks for signing up!

  20. Count me in! I have a few unread books of poetry on my shelves I would love to get to. Thanks for hosting this!

  21. I’m in. I read about 6 (I think) volumes of poetry this year and really loved most of them, so this is more than doable. Just picked up The Poet Laureates Anthology at the library tonight which I am swooning over. The hard part is going to be saving this one for this challenge. 🙂

  22. I don’t usually do challenges, but I think I’ll try to review a couple of entire volumes of poetry this year, rather than just one-at-a-time poems, like I often present. They’ll be recent volumes from the college library.

  23. That’s great that you are hosting this! I’m not planning on doing any challenges next year but if I change my mind I’ll have to come back to this one. I love poetry and definitely don’t read enough. Novels always tear me away 🙂

    Have fun!

  24. I couldn’t resist! I just signed up on the linky — looking forward to seeing what everyone else chooses! I have a few ideas but anything goes! Thanks for hosting such a fun challenge!

  25. Serena, you did me in! I join not more than three challenges. You broke my resolve with this. But you know I read a lot of poetry books! So not difficult for me. I can’t say now how many books I will read. But definitely more than one!

    Needless to say, I am in!

    • Fantastic! I’m so glad you will join! I know you read lots of poetry, and I didn’t mean to make you break your rule. But this one should be easy for you. I hope others who don’t normally read poetry will join too!

  26. You know I’m definitely joining! I just have to select a book, and then I’ll do a post. I’m going to sign up for 1 book, but maybe I’ll read more. 🙂

  27. Woo! I’m glad that you’re hosting a poetry challenge because I don’t think I’m going to be able to do it again next year. Jason and I pretty much dropped off on Clover, Bee and Reverie (sorry!) and I think you’ll be much better at it!

  28. I will read 2 books of poetry (at least), The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry and Poetry Daily and will review them.

  29. I’m so glad I gave poetry a chance this year. My made a personal challenge to read six books of poetry and though I *technically* gave up the challenge with all my other challenges, I still read my six books throughout the year. Two of them ended up being ones I loved, the first time in my entire life that I’ve enjoyed poetry. Having a challenge like this is wonderful!

    • I hope you’ll join my challenge for 2011 even though you did read some this year. It would be great to have you.

      • I might do it unofficially – I’m trying not to officially join challenges this year. But I do plan to read Aurora Leigh and hopefully Plath’s Ariel poems (the only book of poetry I had planned this year and didn’t get to) so I could definitely join and complete it easily enough! 😉


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