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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Events to Honor Earth Day and National Poetry Month

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The saying "April showers bring May flowers" comes with no certainty; what is certain, however, is that each April the beauty and allure found in poetry and the environment will be commemorated no matter what the weather brings. National Poetry Month and Earth Day continue to inspire people.

In today's techno-crazed society, poetry fans can download innovative apps that feature a new poem each day of the month, and friends of the environment contribute to "A Billion Acts of Green" on Earth Day by pledging to save the planet with just the click of a cursor.

For those who prefer live performances to online odes, Woodland Pattern Book Center welcomes Ernesto Cardenal to UW-Milwaukee. Cardenal, the author of more than 35 books, is famous for his passion for social justice and freedom, including his involvement in the Nicaraguan Sandinista movement of the 1980s. Widely acknowledged as one of Latin America's most prolific poets, Cardenal will perform a free bilingual reading from his new book, The Origin of Species and Other Poems, in UWM's Golda Meir Library Conference Center at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 21.

Many of Cardenal's writings meditate on the sacredness of nature and the cosmos, themes that likewise surround an upcoming Earth Day gathering. The Urban Ecology Center will play host to the 24th annual Earth Poets & Musicians performance. The group has brought wit and poetry to Earth Day celebrations since 1988. This year's event features local poet Bill Murtaugh. It also offers family poetry and music, and an opportunity for audience members to share their poems. The gala gets under way 7 p.m. Friday, April 22. The Earth Poets & Musicians perform at 8 p.m. Admission is $5 per person, $10 per family, and all proceeds benefit the Urban Ecology Center.