National Poetry Month

Juan Felipe Herrera, National Poetry Month

poetry month
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about the celebration

about the celebration

Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month, held every April, is the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets celebrating poetry's vital place in our culture.

Thanks to all who helped make this April the best celebration yet. And join us in 2016 for the twentieth anniversary of National Poetry Month! 

National Poetry Month

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Dear Poet 2015

A multimedia educational project that invited young people to write letters in response to poems shared by our Chancellors.

learn more

Naomi Shihab Nye

Poem in Your Pocket Day

Thousands of individuals across the U.S. carried a poem in their pocket on April 30, 2015. 

find a poem

Poetry & the Creative Mind

Our annual gala was held at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City on April 15, 2015.

read more


upcoming events

Oct 09 2015

Red Hen Press reading at KGB Bar

Brian Turner’s latest book, My Life as a Foreign Country: A Memoir has been called “Achingly, disturbingly, shockingly beautiful” by Nick Flynn and “a humane, heartbreaking, and expertly crafted work of literature” by Tim O’Brien. My Life as a Foreign Country is published by W.W. Norton & Company in the US and Canada, and by Jonathan Cape/Random House in the UK and Ireland. His two collections of poetry: Here, Bullet (Alice James Books, 2005; Bloodaxe Books, 2007) and Phantom Noise (Alice James Books, 2010; Bloodaxe Books in October of 2010) have also been published in Swedish by Oppenheim forlag. His poems have been published and translated in Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Polish, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish, and Swedish.

Seema Reza is a poet and essayist based outside of Washington, DC, where she coordinates and facilitates a unique multi-hospital arts program that encourages the use of the arts as a tool for narration, self-care and socialization among a population struggling with emotional and physical injuries. She serves as a council member-at-large for the Transformative Language Arts Network.

Lillian-Yvonne Bertram is a 2014 recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Poetry Fellowship. Her first book, But a Storm is Blowing From Paradise, was selected by Claudia Rankine as the 2010 Benjamin Saltman Award winner and published by Red Hen Press in 2012 and was a 2013 poetry nominee for the Hurston/Wright Foundation Legacy Award for outstanding works of literature published by people of African descent. Her second book, a slice from the cake made of air, is forthcoming from Red Hen Press. Winner of the 2012 Phantom Limb Press chapbook contest, her chapbook cutthroat glamours was published in 2013. She is one-sixth of the poetry collective, Line Assembly. She has been in residence at the Vermont Studio Center, the Montana Artists’ Refuge, has received fellowships from Cave Canem and the Bread Loaf Writers’ and is the recipient of a United States Embassy grant for a writing residency at the Ventspils Writers’ & Translators House in Ventspils, Latvia, in 2014.

85 E 4th St
10003 New York, Washington
Oct 13 2015

Local Poetry & Prose: April Lindner

April Lindner, author of two poetry collections (This Bed Our Bodies Shaped and Skin) and three Young Adult novels (Jane, Catherine, and Love, Lucy), reads selections from her works, and answers your questions about the writing process.

Elsmere Library
30 Spruce Avenue
19805 Wilmington, Delaware
Oct 13 2015

Graywolf Poetry Tour - Mary Jo Bang, Nick Flynn and Diane Seuss

Co-sponsored by University of Chicago Creative Writing and Poetics

About "The Last Two Seconds" by Mary Jo Bang: One of Publishers Weekly's Top 10 Poetry Books of the Spring. "The Last Two Seconds" is an astonishing confrontation with time—our experience of it as measured out by our perceptions, our lives, and our machines. In these poems, full of vivid imagery and imaginative logic, Mary Jo Bang captures the difficulties inherent in being human in the twenty-first century, when we set our watches by nuclear disasters, species collapse, pollution, mounting inequalities, warring nations, and our own mortality. This is brilliant and profound work by an essential poet of our time.

About "My Feelings" by Nick Flynn: In "My Feelings", Nick Flynn’s fourth book of poetry, the author makes no claims on anyone else’s. These poems inhabit a continually shifting sense of selfhood, in the attempt to contain quicksilver realms of emotional energy—from grief and panic to gratitude and understanding. A major subject is the death of Flynn’s father, a formerly homeless man suffering from mental illness and delusions of his own grandeur (and made famous recently by Robert De Niro in the film "Being Flynn", based on Nick Flynn’s memoir). What does it mean to lose someone like that, finally, and what is the legacy of fatherhood? Flynn’s jagged, lyrical poems attempt to make sense of these questions and the clutter left behind in our lives. Alongside those elegies are also moving poems about his daughter, his own sense of fatherhood, and his fractured memories of his mother, before she took her own life.

About "Four-Legged Girl" by Diane Seuss: In Diane Seuess’s urgent and rapturous third collection, "Four-Legged Girl", her kaleidoscopic lyricism is on full display. These are hothouse poems written from her personal life, from a childhood lived beside the death of her estranged father to a wild love life as recounted from the streets of New York. The book culminates to the remarkable title poem about the famous turn-of-the-century sideshow freak, the woman with four legs, the body made strange to itself and to others. Seuss’s work is emotional and lyrically rich, but grounded in her wild femininity, her childhood narrative, and her sense of rural Michigan, where she now lives. Perfect for fans of Linda Gregg, Lucie Brock-Broido, and D. A. Powell, "Four-Legged Girl" is a gutsy, sexy book of poems that is poised to make a big splash this fall.

About Mary Jo Bang: Mary Jo Bang is the author of six collections of poems, including "Louise in Love", "The Eye Like a Strange Balloon", "The Bride of E", and "Elegy", which received the National Book Critics Circle Award. She has also recently translated Dante's "Inferno". She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri, and teaches at Washington University.

About Nick Flynn: Nick Flynn is the author of three acclaimed books of poetry, "The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands", "Blind Huber", and "Some Ether", winner of the PEN/Osterweil Award. He is also the author of three memoirs, "The Reenactments", "The Ticking Is the Bomb", and "Another Bullshit Night in Suck City", winner of the PEN/Martha Albrand Award. He is also the author of a play, "Alice Invents a Little Game" and "Alice Always Wins" (2008). He has received fellowships from, among other organizations, The Guggenheim Foundation and The Library of Congress. Some of the venues his poems, essays, and nonfiction have appeared in include the New Yorker, the Paris Review, National Public Radio’s "This American Life", and the New York Times Book Review. His film credits include artistic collaborator and “field poet” on the film "Darwin’s Nightmare" (nominated for an Academy Award for best feature documentary in 2006), as well as executive producer and artistic collaborator on "Being Flynn", the film version of "Another Bullshit Night in Suck City". A professor in the creative writing program at the University of Houston, where he teaches each spring, he then spends the rest of the year in (or near) Brooklyn.

About Diane Seuss: Diane Seuss is the author of two previous poetry collections, "It Blows You Hollow" and "Wolf Lake, White Gown Blown Open", winner of the Juniper Prize for Poetry. Her poems have appeared in Best American Poetry 2014, the Georgia Review, New Orleans Review, Poetry, and elsewhere. She is writer-in-residence at Kalamazoo College and lives in Michigan.

About Srikanth Reddy: Srikanth Reddy is the author of two books of poetry--"Facts for Visitors" (University of California Press, 2004) and "Voyager" (University of California Press, 2011) --as well as a scholarly study, "Changing Subjects: Digressions in Modern American Poetry" (Oxford University Press, 2012). His poems have appeared in various journals, including APR, Grand Street, Fence, and Ploughshares, and his critical writing has been featured in publications such as the New Republic, Raritan, and American Literature. He has held fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, the Whiting Foundation (in the Humanities), and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and the doctoral program in English at Harvard University, Reddy is an Assistant Professor in English and at the College.

57th Street Books
1301 E. 57th St.
60637 Chicago, Illinois

recent news and updates

May 21 2015
Dear Poet letter
Thanks to everyone who participated in Dear Poet, our National Poetry Month education project that invited young people to respond to poems written and read by some of the award-winning poets who serve on our Board of Chancellors. We received 1,500+ letters from students (and teachers), and our Chancellors were thrilled to respond to a selection of them. We've included others from across the country, and around the world. Take a look!
Apr 28 2015
Every April, on Poem in Your Pocket Day, people throughout the United States celebrate by selecting a poem, carrying it with them, and sharing it with others throughout the day. Take a look at how these innovative schools and libraries are celebrating this year.


Oct 7 2015
“RT @ClassroomDirect: Bright, colorful "I am" Poetry Art from @the_teacherlife Such a cool self-esteem building lesson. #npm15…”
Oct 7 2015
“Kayla Czaga was part of our #NPM15 Poetry Primer series, now her collection is nominated for a #GGBooks Award!”
Oct 6 2015
“RT @2pac: In support of #NPM15, we will explore the many writings of Tupac Shakur. Seen here is “Sometimes I Cry."”
Oct 4 2015
“RT @2pac: In support of #NPM15, we will explore the many writings of Tupac Shakur. Seen here is “Sometimes I Cry."”
Oct 1 2015
“National Preparedness Month #NPM15 is over, but to be at the top of your game, stay involved in preparedness all year long!”
Sep 30 2015
“We’re at the end of National Preparedness Month. #NPM15 Do you feel that you are better prepared? Tell us!”