National Poetry Month

 Academy of American Poets Chancellor Claudia Rankine

poetry month April 2017
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about the celebration

about the celebration

National Poetry Month was inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. Over the years, it 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 Sponsor Logos



get involved

Dear Poet 

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

learn more

Anne Waldman

Poem in Your Pocket Day

Join thousands of individuals across the U.S. who will carry a poem in their pocket on April 27. 

find a poem

Poem in Your Pocket Day

Poetry & the Creative Mind

This year's annual gala was held at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City on April 19.

read more

Poetry and the Creative Mind


upcoming events

Sep 24 2017

Turn Grief Into Poetry

Work through your feelings from a loss or grief through writing poetry. Learn writing prompts and exercises. Collaborator: The Loft Literary Center. Funded by Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
Register here
Hosmer Library
347 E. 36th St.
55408 Minneapolis, Minnesota
Sep 24 2017

Ancient City Poets

The Ancient City Poets will host a community open mic reading on Sunday September 24th from 3:00 to 4:30 at Corazon Cinema and Cafe (36 Granada Street, Saint Augustine, across from the Lightner Museum).

Saint Augustine Speaks is an open mic series that offers poets of all skill levels an opportunity to share their poems with a loving and supportive audience. The microphone will be turned on at 3:00 pm and all are encouraged to share poems that relate to the theme of "Schools, Rules and Lessons Learned". The gatherings are held "renga style" with no emcee or sign-up sheet and end when everyone has had an opportunity to share.

In order to keep these gatherings free of charge, we do ask that you patronize the Corazon and thank them for opening their doors to poetry and spoken word and performance art. Their full cafe menu will be available during the event so please come prepared to buy a sandwich, beverage, or sweet treat. Here is the menu:


Corazon Theater
36 Granada Street
32084 Saint Augustine, Florida
Sep 24 2017

Terrance Hayes to Read for Katonah Poetry Series

On Sunday, September 24, the Katonah Poetry Series will continue to celebrate its 50th Anniversary with a poetry reading by MacArthur Fellow Terrance Hayes. Terrance Hayes has also received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. He is the author of five multi-award-winning poetry collections. His most recent title How To Be Drawn (Penguin, 2015) was a 2015 National Book Award finalist. The award committee described it this way: “Simultaneously complex and transparent, urgent and composed, How to Be Drawn is a mesmerizing achievement.” His previous books include Lighthead (Penguin, 2010), which won the National Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award; Wind in a Box (Penguin, 2006), also a finalist for the Hurston-Wright; Hip Logic (Penguin, 2002), which was a National Poetry Series selection and also finalist for both the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the James Laughlin Award from the American Academy of Poets; and Muscular Music (Tia Chucha Press, 1999), which won the Whiting Writers Award and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. Hayes served as guest editor of The Best American Poetry of 2014 and his own poems have appeared in nine separate editions of that series. He has won two Pushcart Prizes. This year he was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and also became the poetry editor of the New York Times Magazine.

Born in Columbia, South Carolina in 1971, Hayes studied painting and English at Coker College where he was an Academic All-American on the men’s basketball team. After earning an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh, Hayes taught in Ohio, Louisiana and Japan before returning to Pittsburgh to teach, first at Carnegie Mellon and, since 2013, at the University of Pittsburgh. His poems are stylistically and formally eclectic and inventive, and are deeply informed by Hayes’ background in art and music. His subjects frequently touch on identity, race, and gender. Elizabeth Alexander says of him, “not only does he make utterly original and inventive poems, but he also inspires other poets — like myself — to feel similarly liberated in our own art-making.” Cornelius Eady has said, “First you’ll marvel at his skill, his near-perfect pitch, his disarming humor, his brilliant turns of phrase. Then you’ll notice the grace, the tenderness, the unblinking truth-telling just beneath his lines, the open and generous way he takes in our world.” 

Admission is $10/adult. (Students, no cost.) Doors open at 3:30 pm. Tickets sold only at the door. Come early, this event likely to sell out! The reading will be followed by audience Q&A, a public reception, and a book signing with the poet. Copies of Hayes’ books will be available for sale, as will the newly published How a Poem Happens: Conversatons with Twenty–One Extraordinary Poets (Andrew Kuhn, Red Spruce Press)— interviews of poets who have read for KPS since 2010. The Katonah Village Library is located at 26 Bedford Road, an easy walk from the Metro-North train station. Street parking is available. For further information, please visit The Katonah Poetry Series can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The Katonah Poetry Series is funded in part by both The Jerome Levy Foundation and Poets & Writers, Inc. with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Founded in 1967, KPS is a non-profit program under the auspices of the Katonah Village Library. Past readers have included eight Poets Laureate of the United States and fifteen winners of the Pulitzer Prize. Mark your calendars! KPS’s fall season of poetry readings will continue with Carla Funk on November 5, 2017. 

Admission fee: $10.00
Katonah Village Library
26 Bedford Road
10536 Katonah, New York

recent news and updates

Apr 28 2017
For National Poetry Month, Academy Chancellor Alberto Ríos is collaborating with Arizona State University (ASU) Now photographers Charlie Leight and Deanna Dent to create “visual sonnets." The project, whose name takes inspiration from the number of lines found in a sonnet, features fourteen photographs and poems.
Apr 19 2017
June Jordan
The Center for Black Literature, the Center for Law and Social Justice, and the Brooklyn Public Library are celebrating National Poetry Month with the program “June Jordan: Reflections on Her Life and Activism.” A poet, playwright, and essayist, June Jordan was the author of numerous poetry c