poetry near you

Are you looking to connect with poets or find opportunities to hear or study poetry? To find poetry events and resources near you, simply enter your zip code in the search field below. You can also click on the states menu to the right above and select your state to find festivals, conferences, writing programs, literary organizations, landmarks, poetry-friendly bookstores, and more in your area. If you'd like to share events with the Poets.org audience, please submit them below.

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Apr 29 2017

11th Annual Rootabaga Slam

Doors open at 8:30 p.m. Slam begins at 9 p.m. 11th Annual Rootabaga Poetry Slam, hosted by Mark K. (Slampapi) Smith, founder/creator of the International Poetry Slam movement. The Rootabaga Poetry Slam is a unique form of performance poetry competition open to all ages. Smith brings a regional slam competition to Galesburg and the Festival. Top “slammers” from across the Midwest are expected to come and compete for cash prizes totaling $350. First place $200, second place $100, third place $50. There is no entry fee to compete. Admission is free. However, a freewill offering will be accepted, with refreshments provided. An all-ages event, but a cash bar is available. This event is sponsored by The Big Read, Carl Sandburg Historic Site Association and Carl Sandburg College.

156 East
156 E. Main St.
61401 Galesburg, Illinois
Apr 30 2017

The Cowboy and the City Girl Southern Poetry Tour

Georgia Book Award winner, Alice Friman, and Sean Sexton, Poet Laureate of Indian River County, Florida, will read from their work.

Aiken County Historical Museum
433 Newberry St. SW
29801 Aiken, South Carolina
Apr 30 2017

Poetry in the Afternoon featuring Nancy Chen Long, Rachel Sahaidachny, and J.T. Whitehead

Come celebrate national Poetry Month & the release of Nancy Chen Long's 'Light into Bodies,' winner of the 2016 Tampa Review Prize for Poetry. Long will be joined by poets Rachel Sahaidachny and J.T. Whitehead.

For more information, visit us on Facebook.

9 S. Johnson Ave.
46219 Indianapolis, Indiana
Apr 30 2017

A House Divided

A House Divided unites artists, writers, thinkers, and politicos in a one-of-a-kind event that speaks to these divisive times in our nation, not necessarily to find a solution, but to bring the creative community into the Public Dialogue. With Paul Auster, Amina Baraka, Yusef Komunyakaa, Marilyn Nelson, Richard Serra, Anne Waldman, Siri Hustvedt, Marie Ponsot, Mónica de la Torre, Ocean Vuong, Natalie Diaz, Bob Holman, and Stefan Bondell. You can get reserve your spot by clicking here. The event will also be livestreamed via penamerica.org and Facebook Live. 

The Great Hall 7 at The Cooper Union
East 7th Street
Between Third and Fourth Avenues
10003 New York, New York
Apr 30 2017

African-American Writers’ Alliance Reading

Join us for a fabulous afternoon of poems, featuring readings by six esteemed members of the African-American Writers’ Alliance (AAWA).

In January 1991, Californian Randee Eddins called to order the first meeting of the African-American Writers’ Alliance (AAWA). Her idea to begin an informal gathering of Northwest black writers meeting for mutual support and encouragement through the exchange of ideas and concepts became a reality.  The warmth and informality provide a forum for both new and published writers, a setting where they can explore both finished works and works in progress among their peers and minus censure.  The ready-made audience supports writers by listening and sharing.  Equally important, writers have the opportunity to read and recite their works in a variety of venues in the Puget Sound area. Attending and presenting workshops help writers polish their skills.  A large number of writers have published their works independently,  some in more than one collection. Writers have shared their works in a variety of bookstores, libraries, prisons, churches, taverns, festivals, fairs, schools, museums, colleges, and universities.  Our oldest reading venue is Elliott Bay Book Company: we have read there since 19192. AAWA members are often on television and radio. As AAWA celebrates its twenty-sixth year, more than two hundred persons have participated on a variety of levels.  The group has published four anthologies: Sometimes I Wander… in 1998, Gifted Voices in 2000, and Words? Words! Words in 2004, and Threads in 2009.

Minnie A. Collins, author of the Purple Wash (2013) has been published in Crosscurrents (Washington Humanities Association), Quiet ShortsWashington Center Newsletter, Washington English Journal, Innovation Abstracts at the University of Texas at Austin, African American Writers’ Alliance anthology, Threads, and Blackpast.org.    Among her venues are Writers Read, a monthly program at Columbia Library, Elliott Bay Bookstore, Poetry+Motion at Town Hall,  the Hansberry Project, James and Janie Washington Foundation House, Northwest African American Museum, Columbia City Gallery, Arts/4Culture Douglas Truth and Green Lake libraries, Green River and Seattle Central Colleges, and Onyx Fine Arts Collective exhibits. Included among her awards are Seattle University’s African American Alumni Achievement,   Burlington Northern for Teaching Excellence at Seattle College, Dan Evans Innovation Award, National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Teaching Excellence from the University of Texas at Austin, Who’s Who Among American Teachers, and Administrator of the Year at Seattle University. In addition to her community service and volunteer activities at Mount Zion, she has traveled to six continents.

Nakeya Isabell, born and raised in Seattle, is one of nine children. A proud graduate of Cleveland High, she received a basketball scholarship to Pepperdine University where she received her BA in Advertising. Currently, Nakeya is a mentor with the Seattle non-profit Friends of the Children. Nakeya is passionate about making a difference, impact, youth, family, faith, and community. Her goal is to die empty with no regrets.  Writing since she was a small child, Nakeya enjoys articulating her thought, confident the pen and paper never judge her.

Georgia Stewart McDade, a Louisiana native who has lived in Seattle more than half her life, loves reading and writing. As a charter member of the African-American Writers’ Alliance (AAWA), McDade began reading her stories in public in 1991.  She credits AAWA with making her regularly write poetry. She has written poems inspired by art at such sites asGallery 110, Seattle Art Museum, Onyx Arts, and Columbia City Gallery.  She has also written articles for Pacific Newspapers, especially the South District Journal. A prolific writer, she has works in AAWA anthologies I Wonder as I WanderGifted Voices, Words? Words! Words, and Threads.   Her works include Travel Tips for Dream Trips, questions and answers about her six-month, solo trip around the world; four collections of poetry called ; and a collection of stories and essays entitled Observations and Revelations.

Gaylloyd Sissón

Gaylloyd Sissón writes daily in temperate Western Washington where he lives with his wife Kathleen. In addition to being active in AAWA, he participates in Renton Writers, Puyallup Writers groups, and Pacific Northwest Writers Association. He retired from a thirty-four-year career in education, teaching kindergarten through community college. Since his teens, Gaylloyd has penned memoirs and poems in private journals. His writing has appeared in the Plant Amnesty newsletter, University of Washington’s Voice, and Sacramento’s Poet. An avid hiker, yoga participant, and fair-weather cyclist, he survives Puget Sound’s rainy season by reading good books, playing piano and flute, and drinking plenty of black coffee while eating dark chocolate. A passionate gardener, he has been featured in Vegetable Gardens and Urban Farms magazines. He devotes much of his time to freelance writing, photography, and travel, both foreign and domestic.

Santiago Vega

“Half the time I think I’m crazy, and the other half I know I’m crazy,” says AAWA member Santiago Vega of himself. This craziness is akin to the craziness of Gandhi, Malcolm, and King; the kind of craziness that compels one to say what he believes is true though he may be forced to stand alone. After listening to some of his ideas, many folks realize his craziness is the kind that can change the world for the better, the kind of craziness the world needs. Multilingual and multi-talented, Santiago writes, recites, dances, and teaches. This musician shares his talent with many cultures. Knowing everything is political, Santiago usually always writes about political issues of the day. This poet/philosopher ought to be heard.

Open Books: A Poem Emporium
2414 N. 45th St.
98103 Seattle, Washington

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James Merrill House




Does exile begin at birth? I lived beside a wide river
For so long I stopped hearing it.

As when a glass shatters during an argument,
And we are secretly thrilled. . . . We wanted it to break.

Always something missing now in the cry of one bird,
Its wings flared against the wood.


The years are a falling of snow,
Slow, but without cessation,
On hills and mountains and flowers and worlds that were;
But snow and the crawling night in which it fell
May be washed away in one swifter hour of flame.
Thus it was that some slant of sunset
In the chasms of piled cloud—

It’s the consistency of flesh that drives us,
how a pome ascends the stairs
of its origin. A boy shakes

pears down off the higher branches
as his friends scavenge underneath,
groping for the thing necks.

If you find yourself holding one,
hungry, if that’s the word,
then you are testament

to what festers in