National Poetry Month

U.S. Poet Laureate and Academy of American Poets Chancellor Juan Felipe Herrera

poetry month 2016
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about the celebration

about the celebration

This April marked the 20th anniversary of National Poetry Month, which was inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. Over the years, National Poetry Month has become the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets celebrating poetry’s vital place in our culture.

Thank you for joining in the celebration by listing your events and attending other events in your community, displaying this year's poster, participating in Poem in Your Pocket Dayrecommending the Dear Poet project to a young personsigning up to read a Poem-a-Day, and checking out 30 more ways to celebrate.

We hope National Poetry Month's events and activities will inspire you to keep celebrating poetry all year long!

download the national poetry month logo

sponsors & partners 


National Poetry Month Sponsors



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Dear Poet 

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

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Anne Waldman

Poem in Your Pocket Day

Thousands of individuals across the U.S. carried a poem in their pocket on April 21, 2016. 

find a poem

Poem in Your Pocket Day

Poetry & the Creative Mind

Our annual gala was held at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City on April 27, 2016.

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Poetry and the Creative Mind


upcoming events

Oct 20 2016

Hideous: A Reading and Conversation with Sylvia Legris & Will Alexander

Canadian poet Sylvia Legris, winner of the 2006 Griffin Poetry Prize, and Los Angeles poet Will Alexander, winner of the 2016 Jackson Poetry Prize, discuss how language operates to amputate, dissect, and reveal the most intimate secrets of the human and animal body.

Sylvia Legris was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and now lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Her collection Nerve Squall won both the 2006 Griffin Poetry Prize and the 2006 Pat Lowther Award. Her poems have appeared in many publications, including The New Yorker, Granta, Poetry, and Conjunctions. She lives in Saskatoon.

Will Alexander works in multiple genres. In addition to being a poet, he is also a novelist, essayist, aphorist, playwright, philosopher, visual artist, and pianist. His influences range from poetic practitioners, such as Aimé Césaire, Bob Kaufman, Andre Breton, Antonin Artaud, and Philip Lamantia, to the encompassing paradigm of Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga, and the Egyptian worldview as understood by Cheikh Anta Diop and R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz. The latter is central to Alexander’s expanding inner range, which has allowed him access to levels of mind beyond the three-dimensional as boundary. He thereby explores the full dimensionality of each word. For him, each word has access to not only the median level of three-dimensional experience, but also partakes of experience on both the supra and subconscious planes. His praxis of language is not unlike the Mayan numerical world, where each letter of the alphabet spontaneously engages in non-limit. Thus, all fields of experience are open for exploration: art, physics, botany, history, astronomy, architecture, and poetics. Alexander’s books include Asia and Haiti, The Sri Lankan Loxodrome, Compression and Purity, Sunrise In Armageddon, Diary As Sin, Inside the Earthquake Palace, Towards The Primeval Lightning Field, and Mirach Speaks To His Grammatical Transparents. He lives in The City of Angels.

Admission fee: $10.00
Poets House
10 River Terrace
10282 New York, New York
Oct 21 2016

I Am Going To Talk About Hope: Poetry

 Poets from Spain and Latin America ( A Bilingual Reading). 

A poetic dialogue between fundamental poets of Spain and Latin America.

Admission fee: $10.00
6:00pm to 7:30pm
Cornelia Street Cafe
29 Cornelia Street
10014 New York, New York
Oct 23 2016

Page Meets Stage: Evie Shockley & Yesenia Montilla

Evie Shockley is the author of four collections of poetry--most recently, the new black, winner of the 2012 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry--as well as critical study, Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry. Her poetry and essays appear widely in journals and anthologies. Her honors include the 2015 Stephen Henderson Award for Outstanding Achievement in Poetry and the 2012 Holmes National Poetry Prize. Currently serving as creative editor for feminist studies, Shockley is Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

Yesenia Montilla is an Afro-Latina from New York City. She is a graduate of Drew University's Poetry & Poetry in Translations MFA program and a Canto Mundo Fellow. Her poetry has appeared in The Wide Shore, Prairie Schooner, Gulf Coast and others. Her first collection of poetry, The Pink Box, is published by Willow Books and was long-listed for the PEN America Open Book Award.

Advance tickets available through Eventbrite

Admission fee: $10.00
The Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery
10012 New York, New York

recent news and updates

May 03 2016
Portland Art Museum's Poem in Your Pocket Day Handouts
From poets across the country challenging themselves to write a poem each day in April; to skyward murals of poems on the rooftops of Miami buildings for fliers to see; to students in Seattle, many of whom are refugees, telling their personal stories through poems broadcast on public radio... National Poetry Month is an umbrella for many innovative and inspiring local celebrations of poetry, which, together, reach tens of millions of individuals.
Apr 27 2016
Speedway & Swan is a one-hour free-format radio program that presents contemporary poetry against a context of musical selections. In each episode, creator and host Brian Blanchfield, who won the 2014 James Laughlin Award, is joined in conversation by a rotating cohost who reads a selection of poetry from his or her personal canon, along with poems from recently released poetry collections.


Oct 13 2016
“RT @Your_Name28425: #kmseagles #NPM16 Tree”
Oct 11 2016
“RT @poetambassador: Excited to display @POETSorg #npm16 poster in my new @IUBAsianAm office! #poetry #inspiration #culturalcollisions”