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National Poetry Month

National Poetry Month was established in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets to celebrate the amazing wealth of emotion, humor and human experience found in poetry. Held every April, it is the largest literary celebration in the world.  Participate by discovering new poets and sharing old favorites.

Tenderness does not choose its own uses.
It goes out to everything equally,
circling rabbit and hawk.
Look: in the iron bucket,
a single nail, a single ruby –
all the heavens and hells.
They raffle in the heart and make one sound
– Late Prayer by Jane Hirschfield


An American sunrise: poems
A stunning new volume from the first Native American Poet Laureate of the United States, Joy Harjo, informed by her tribal history and connection to the land.

Audio poem of the day
From The Poetry Foundation, audio recordings of classic and contemporary poems read by poets and actors, posted every day.

Poetry out loud
Listen to poems being read aloud by authors and actors.  There is also an app available.

Poetry unbound podcast
Enjoy listening to one poem and a short commentary on this powerful and touching twice-weekly podcast.

The Slowdown podcast
Explore a poem and a moment of reflection every weekday.


How Poetry Unlocked My Superpowers (TED Talk)
Keenan Scott II’s passion for words, stories and superheroes fueled his journey to becoming a celebrated playwright, producer, director and actor.

Poetry in America
From PBS, this video series explores the diversity of America poetry. Each episode is a fully immersive experience in hearing, reading, and interpreting a single American poem.

Poetry to watch
From the Poetry Society, watch film-poem versions of winners of the National Poetry Competition, recordings of poets reading their work to camera or even a poetry animation.

SlamNation: the sport of spoken word
No matter how you define it, one thing is clear: slam poetry draws a crowd.  This program spotlights movers and shakers in the slam community as they compete in a National Poetry Slam in Portland, Oregon.

Read and write

American women poets in the 21st century
A thought-provoking mix of poetry, creative manifesto and criticism.

How to write a poem
This innovative introduction to writing poetry is designed for students of creative writing and budding poets alike.  It challenges the reader’s sense of what is possible in a poem.

Looking out, looking in
An anthology of Latino Poetry.

Next line, please: prompts to inspire poets and writers
This guide to poetry traces the wonders of the written word and shows how to enjoy poetry and how it is relevant to everyday life.

Powerful Poetry: Read, Write, Rejoice, Recite Poetry All Year
Combining writing, reading, and oral language skills, this book will provide teachers with a wealth of engaging lessons to bring the power of poetry into their classrooms.

They Never Asked: Senryū Poetry from the WWII Portland Assembly Center
A collection of poems by Japanese-Americans held in an internment camp during World War II. Individually, the poems reflect the thoughts and feelings the authors experienced while being detained; collectively, they reflect the resilience and resistance of a community denied freedom.

What I say: innovative poetry by Black writers in America
Explodes narrow definitions of African American poetry by examining experimental poems often excluded from previous scholarship.

Explore websites

30 ways to celebrate national poetry month
Features various ways to get engaged with poetry.

Favorite poem project
Founded by former the United States Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, this site features videos of Americans reading their favorite poems.

Oregon Poetic Voices
The Oregon Poetic Voices Project (OPV) is a comprehensive digital archive of poetry readings from Oregon authors.

Poem a day
Poem-a-Day is a digital poetry series featuring over 200 new, previously unpublished poems by today’s talented poets each year. On weekdays, poems are accompanied by exclusive commentary by the poets.

The poetry foundation
Browse poems and poetry at this site.


Poetry research guide

Written by a PCC Librarian, this guide includes how to search for poetry materials available through the library, suggested websites, finding poetry in scholarly journals, a poem of the day, and a short video by Rite Dove, former Poet Laureate, on the purposes of poetry.