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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.

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow
– Dreams by Langston Hughes

Listen

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.

Brown Girl Dreaming
National Book Aware winner Jacqueline Woodson shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s through vivid poems.

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.

View

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.

Why People Need Poetry (TED talk)
Literary critic Stephen Burt talks about some of his favorite poets.

Read and write

American Women Poets in the 21st Century
A thought-provoking mix of poetry, creative manifesto and criticism.

Bridging The Shovel Down
Ross Gay is a brilliant poet whose poetry is shaped not only by yearning but also play and scrutiny, melancholy and intensity.

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.

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

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

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.

Poets.org – National Poetry Month
Resources and events to celebrate National Poetry Month, including Poem in Your Pocket Day.

Related

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.