Looking to stretch your brain this summer? How about joining me and other readers in the Sealey Challenge, a community effort to read one book of poetry each day for the month of August. Yes, you read that correctly—one book of poetry every day!
The Sealey Challenge was started in 2017 when poet Nicole Sealey challenged herself to read a book of poems each day for a month and gained a following while chronicling her experience on social media. Now in its fifth year, the Sealey Challenge is partnering with the University of Arizona Poetry Center to reach even more people, and you can join in!
I know – reading a book of poetry every day sounds scary. Heck, reading poetry at all can be intimidating. But Tyler Meier, Director of the UA Poetry Center, would tell you that’s exactly why you should give the Sealey Challenge a try. “All too often, we’re taught that poetry holds a special message that requires great scrutiny to uncover, available only through slow and careful (or even painful!) reading,” says Tyler. “The Sealey Challenge is an invitation to a different way of reading, one focused on density and the pleasure of language. All kinds of new imaginative possibilities emerge in the connections, frictions, and echoes between reading experiences each day. Participating in the challenge is one of the greatest gifts you can give your imagination!”
And you won’t be alone! Those who use social media can join a community of readers by sharing their experience online using the hashtag #thesealeychallenge or #sealeychallenge.
It will be no surprise that the Pima County Public Library has a robust poetry collection to help! The booklist below has all titles featuring marginalized voices recommended by the Sealey Challenge, and all available through the library. Try out one of these, or check out some of our other great poetry lists below.
And you’re always welcome to head into your favorite branch, enjoy the air conditioning, and pluck a book off the shelf. You’ll find poetry in the nonfiction section in the 800s!