Razumich & Delamater - April 2020


FROMTHE DESKS OF Razumich & Delamater

THE POETSWHO CAN SHOW IT The Little-Known History of US Poet Laureates


14. International Moment of Laughter Day

1. International Fun at Work Day 2. National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day

15. That Sucks Day

16. National Stress Awareness Day

3. World Party Day

17. International

4. School

Haiku Poetry Day

Librarian Day

18. Newspaper

5. National

Columnists Day

Dandelion Day

19. National

6. National

Garlic Day

Tartan Day

20. Look Alike Day

7. National Beer Day

21. Kindergarten Day

8. Draw a Picture of a Bird Day

22. Girl Scout

Leader Day

9. NameYourself Day

the U.S. poet laureate promotes reading and writing of poetry around the nation and hosts regular poetry readings and lectures. The position has undergone many changes since its conception. In 1951, it became standard for poet laureates to serve two terms. In 1985, the position was officially renamed to “poet laureate consultant in poetry.”And while the $35,000 annual stipend was originally intended to replace the need for other employment and allow the poet laureate to dedicate all their time to poetry, it has never been adjusted for inflation. Rather than increase the stipend, the Library of Congress instead gives modern poet laureates a light workload and encourages them to continue pursuing their own writing and career goals during their time in the role.

Since 1996, the U.S. has celebrated April as National Poetry Month. Whether for love, grief, or wonder, poetry has long been an emotional expression that unites people of diverse backgrounds. In other words, it’s the perfect art medium for Americans. But the nationwide respect poetry enjoys in the U.S. likely wouldn’t have been established without a much older tradition: appointing a U.S. poet laureate. In 1936, a philanthropist named Archer M. Huntington created an endowment that established an annual stipend of $35,000 for a“consultant in poetry to the Library of Congress.”Now commonly referred to as the U.S. poet laureate, the position continues to be sustained by Huntington’s endowment without any additional cost to taxpayers. Modeled after the poet laureate of the United Kingdom,

23. Take a Chance Day

10. National

Siblings Day

24. Pig in a

Blanket Day

11. Barbershop Quartet Day

25. National DNA Day

12. Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day

26. National

Pretzel Day

13. International Plant Appreciation Day

27. Tell a Story Day

28. International

Astronomy Day

29. Greenery Day

30. Hairstyle

Appreciation Day

-John Razumich and Joe Delamater

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poetry community, Brodsky was the first to suggest a program with national reach. Maxine Kumin initiated a poetry workshop for women at the Library of Congress, and Natasha Trethewey foundedWhere Poetry Lives, a collaboration with PBS NewsHour’s Poetry Series to explore societal issues through poetry’s focused, emotional lens. Juan Felipe Herrera, who was the first Hispanic person to hold the position, holds the record for most projects completed during his term. One of his largest projects, “La Casa de Colores,”was a two-piece project. One half, named “La Familia,”was an epic poem that writers across the nation could contribute to that ran through the span of Herrera’s Laureateship. The other half, “El Jardín,”was a series of webcasts that explored the various curators who work at the Library of Congress. Anyone in the world can view deeply touching records of poetry from soldiers and the professionals behind maintaining them. His other projects include “The Technicolor Adventures of Catalina Neon,” a children’s book that schools across the country helped finish writing; Wordstreet Champions and Brave Builders of the Dream, a program for promoting poetry in the Chicago school district; and the Laureate Lab and Visual Wordlist Studio, a performance/classroom space. You can show support for poetry without being in office. Celebrate National Poetry Month by sharing poetry with loved ones, writing your own, or subscribing to the Poem-A-Day initiative provided by the Academy of American Poets!

Poet laureates are rarely expected to express political stances —with only one exception in U.S. history thus far. In 2001, Billy Collins was asked to write and perform a poem in honor of the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York and Pennsylvania. Because of the hands-off nature of the position, many poet laureates choose to address very specific issues or projects during their terms. In 1991, Joseph Brodsky proposed a system by which the government would provide poetry to put in airports, supermarkets, and hotel rooms. Although government-supplied poetry sparked heated debates in the


goes oink or the mailman has a funny, nasally voice, bring those features to life. You can also have your kids help you with daily tasks that require reading, like making a to-do list or shopping at the grocery store. When they’re helping you and having fun, it won’t feel like learning at all! Finally, the best way to make reading enjoyable for your children is to enjoy it yourself. Your kids watch what you do, and if they see you enjoying a good book, they’ll want to read even more. Reading opens up the world to them, and with your help, nothing will dull their love of learning.

If your child is between 3–5 years old, you’ve probably noticed that they’re becoming a lot more talkative. By the time children are 4, they can usually speak in 5–8-word sentences. That makes this age range the perfect time to get your child interested in reading. However, this can raise a lot of questions. For starters, the question of how to get your child interested in reading is almost more important than when you do it. You may wonder howmuch time you should spend reading with them, how intensive reading time should be, and if you should make everything involving words and letters into a reading lesson. While the answers to these questions will vary from child to child, there’s one goal that every parent should strive for when teaching their child to read: Above all, help them enjoy it. When your child starts kindergarten, learning to read will be a part of the curriculum. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to teach them to read earlier, though. If your child loves to read, it can make their learning experience much more enjoyable.

There are plenty of ways to help your child enjoy reading from an early age. One is to simply read to them and make storytime fun. If the pig

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DOYOUR PART TO KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL And Maintain Green Living Spaces for Everyone

with hundreds of thousands of people participating each year. In 2019, over 550,000 volunteers participated in the GAC to bring natural beauty back into their communities. 2020 marks this event’s 22nd year, and you can be a part of it this month! Volunteer your time with a local Keep America Beautiful affiliate or another community improvement program close to home. Do your part to clean up your parks and spread awareness today. START PLOGGING. If you’re passionate about staying active and cleaning up your neighborhood, then this is the perfect activity for you! Plogging combines jogging and picking up litter, which takes care of your health and keeps your community clean. Anybody can do it: Just throw on your running shoes, grab a bag, head out the door, and pick up any stray bits of trash you see on your morning jog or evening walk.

Have you ever walked through a park and seen a plastic bottle or wrapper lying on the ground? If so, did you pick it up and properly dispose of it? You might not have realized it, but in that moment, you took a small step toward keeping your community — and, by extension, America — beautiful! April is Keep America Beautiful Month, and folks who celebrate aim to help each community in every state stay clean and green. Created by the nonprofit organization Keep America Beautiful, this holiday offers a perfect opportunity to roll up your sleeves and work to better the place you live in. Here are three ways to show your appreciation for a green America this month. VOLUNTEER FOR THE GREAT AMERICAN CLEANUP. This event is one of America’s largest community improvement programs,

IMPROVE RECYCLING THROUGH EDUCATION. An important goal during Keep America Beautiful Month is to spread awareness about recycling. There are various ways to educate those around you about recycling and encourage them to do their part. At work, for example, you can volunteer to lead a recycling initiative by printing off guides and fostering discussions on why recycling is so essential. At home, you can make a commitment with your family to fulfill the three R’s of recycling: reduce, reuse, recycle. To discover more ways to participate in Keep America Beautiful month, visit their website at KAB.org today!

Take a Break!


Inspired by AllRecipes.com

Impress your family with this festive Easter lamb cake that’s as cute as it is scrumptious!



2 1/4 cups cake flour

1. Heat oven to 375 F. Coat lamb cake mold with vegetable oil and wipe clean after a few minutes. Then grease again and flour cake mold. 2. In a bowl, sift cake flour, then sift flour again with baking powder and salt. Set aside. 3. In a large bowl, beat sugar and butter together to form a batter. 4. Add flour mixture andmilk to the batter alternately. 5. Stir batter until smooth and add vanilla extract. 6. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. 7. Fold 1/3 of egg whites into batter mixture, then fold in the remaining whites. 8. Fill cake mold with batter and avoid air pockets. Place the lid on the cake mold, secure it tightly, and place it on a cookie sheet. Bake for 1 hour. 9. Let cake cool completely before decorating with frosting, candy, and edible Easter grass.

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

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1/2 tsp salt

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar 1/2 cup butter

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1 cup milk 1 tsp vanilla extract 4 egg whites


1 lamb-shaped, 3D cake mold

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE From the Desks of Razumich & Delamater PAGE 1 Celebrate National Poetry Month PAGE 1 Fostering a Love of Reading in Your Child PAGE 2 Keep America Beautiful PAGE 3 Take a Break PAGE 3 Easter Lamb Cake PAGE 3 The Best Locations for Spring Blooms PAGE 4 Spring is here, which means beautiful flowers are finally showing themselves after a long winter. Here are some of the best places in the U.S. to see flower blossoms and welcome the season. GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS The Great Smoky Mountains National Park stretches across North Carolina and Tennessee, and while its scenery is beautiful year-round, the park is especially alluring to nature enthusiasts during the spring. Through this season, miles of lady’s-slipper orchids, irises, cardinal flowers, and lilies dot its lush green landscape. It’s dubbed “Wildflower National Park” throughout this time of year, and you can experience it by car or on foot. The park also offers expert-led tours that weave through the flowers during their peak bloom. SEE SPRING BLOOM IN THESE BEAUTIFUL LOCATIONS

CRESTED BUTTE Crested Butte, Colorado, is best known for its winter sports and summer hikes. But recently it has drawn the attention of flower enthusiasts for its unique pink, orange, and gold alpine wildflowers that appear in the spring. This natural phenomenon even inspired the creation of the annual Wildflower Festival in midsummer, which features nature walks, art, photography, culinary experiences, and more. For a truly unique experience, you can even ascend the town’s titular Crested Butte to spot some rare alpine sunflowers next to the picturesque West Elk Mountains. ANTELOPE VALLEY The California Poppy Reserve in Lancaster, California, is a 1,780-acre park that features sloping hills covered with fields of vibrant orange, yellow, and red poppies in the spring. Warm temperatures and heavy rainfall across

Southern California during this time of year create a brief period of thick blooms as far as the eye can see. And while the poppies can be enjoyed from the comfort of your car, the best way to experience them is to walk the leisurely Antelope Loop Trail for a breathtaking, up- close adventure. Spring flora is gorgeous and naturally attracts large crowds of people every year. If you plan to visit any of these destinations, just remember that their ecosystems are delicate. Respect park signs, stay on designated trails, and do your part to make sure these flowers return year after year for future generations to enjoy.

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