Just two days ago, I found out about #TheSealeyChallenge, an initiative which prompts poets to read one poetry collection every day during the month of August.
Wow, I thought, that’s serious commitment, reading that much poetry every day. How do-
Then I got a sudden reality check. Reading a poetry book a day is hard yes, but possible, especially if you find really short ones 😉 . The really hard thing though, is actually finding enough poetry books so that you can read one a day.
I am currently in a place where the nearest public library is about 63 kilometers (39 miles) away.
Even in the US, where the challenge started in 2017, I wonder how many poets have access to that much poetry.
I’ve seen some poets online talking about buying the books for the challenge and I was impressed by their commitment. This is obviously not possible for everyone.
But I am not here to pour water on this initiative. I think The Sealey Challenge is an awesome idea, and on my part I will read as much poetry as I can this month, and beyond. The serendipitous thing is I found out about the challenge while asking some poets I know for recommendations for poetry collections to read.
One of them asked me, “Have you heard about The Sealey Challenge?”
A day later, another poet I approached for recommendations asked me, “Is this for The Sealey Challenge?”
It wasn’t, at the time.
I googled it, found The Sealey Challenge website, joined The Sealey Challenge Facebook group, watched a whole twenty-something minute a YouTube video by Shellyflowers Reads and Writes (You can watch it too, above), and learned more about how the challenge started, how it has spread around the world, and how various poetry lovers are embracing it.
Now I can pass that favor on.
The Sealey Challenge was started in 2017 by poet Nicole Sealey (pictured). She wanted to challenge herself to read more poetry and committed to reading a collection a day in August that year. She posted about it on social media, asking if anyone wanted to join her.
People did. Many of them.
Now the challenge attracts hundreds of poetry lovers every year.
So now, The Sealey Challenge is part of my life as a poet, a modified version of it at least. More poetry to the people.