Celebrate National Poetry Month 2024

Holly Spinelli, April 2024
Image Credit: The 2024 poster features artwork by award-winning children’s author and illustrator Jack Wong, and lines from “blessing the boats” by poet Lucille Clifton. Wong was selected by Scholastic—the global children’s publishing, education, and media company—to create the artwork for this year’s poster as part of a new National Poetry Month initiative between the publisher and the Academy of American Poets.

Image Courtesy Academy of American Poets Click here to download poster/learn more.

“Poetry is the lifeblood of rebellion, revolution, and the raising of consciousness.” —Alice Walker

Happy National Poetry Month!

The genre itself has the power to intimidate, to invite, to inspire, to illuminate– and just about any iteration of intention in-between, but no matter what, poetry has a place for everyone.

This year, the New York Public Library has a fantastic calendar of events dedicated to poetry throughout the month of April. They have everything from poetry readings, to poetry book lists, to writing events. There is a little bit of poetry for us all at the NYPL. If you’re in the neighborhood, or if you feel so moved to listen to some excellent live poetry events, definitely check out the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. Their year-long programming includes poetry slams, open mic nights, educational events, theater, and hip-hop. The Nuyorican’s calendar of events for the month of April and throughout the rest of 2024 looks and sounds amazing!

If you’re in the Hudson Valley region, the Rensselaerville Library is hosting its 8th annual Poem-A-Day Project. For the past seven years, the program has featured a local poet and their work on the library’s website for the public to enjoy. Check it out for some local inspiration! For those in the Syracuse area, Juan Felipe Herrera will lead a poetry reading and host two writing workshops at La Casita Cultural Center on April 3rd and April 5th.

Maybe you feel the need to answer a call? If so, the Finger Lakes Art Council teamed up with Clare Songbirds Publishing House & Artistic Impressions to host an open mic poetry event on April 13th at the historic Willard Chapel in Auburn, New York. What a beautiful place to host an event for poets and poetry.

April weather can be a little tricky to navigate, but for those who prefer to soak up poetry in the great outdoors, there are some excellent events coming up for you. The New York City Parks Department is hosting a Spring Poetry Hike on Saturday, April 6th. What a gorgeous way to celebrate the early springtime and a love of poetry. For those who prefer to enjoy poetry’s natural beauty indoors, The Old Forge Public Library in Old Forge, New York, hosted its annual Community Poetry and Art Contest, which means that those who visit can view the contest winners’– and all contest entrants’– poetry and arts on display from now through May 7th. What a lovely way to celebrate a community!

One of poetry’s greatest achievements is its ability to be anywhere and everywhere. The Adirondack Center for Writing (ACW) is once again strategically placing poetry machines throughout the region. Check the ACW website for more information about their location during National Poetry Month.

New York State is a vast and exciting place to celebrate poets and poetry. Visit your local library, community center, or local writers groups to find out more about how your community is celebrating poetry this month.

Holly Spinelli is a NYSEC executive board member who is currently enjoying her experience as an NCTE Open Educational Resources Fellow. She looks forward to and is appreciative of joining her friends from Kentucky in registering as a participant in the LexPoMo annual poetry writing event held in June.

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