National Poetry Month at MLK

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library - Central Library

National Poetry Month at MLK

Come see our interactive display and try your hand at making poetry!

National Poetry Month began in 1996 when the Academy of American Poets wanted to raise awareness and celebrate the past and present of poetry in the United States. Now it takes place every April, and this year at MLK we’re celebrating the diversity of American poets writing right now. We’ve highlighted works by poets who demonstrate the creative range, racial diversity, and social variety of American poetry.

Just a few you’ll learn about at the display:

Cover of Map to the Next World by Joy HarjoJoy Harjo, an award-winning poet who often writes about her experiences in the U.S. as a Native American.
A Map to the Next World: Poetry and Tales 
She Had Some Horses
Crazy Brave: A Memoir

Cover of My Father Was a Toltec by Ana CastilloAna Castillo, a Mexican-American writer who writes about the experiences of Latin American women in America.
My Father Was a Toltec and Selected Poems
Watercolor Women, Opaque Men: A Novel in Verse 

Cover of Voyager by Srikanth ReddySrikanth Reddy, an Indian-American writer who delves into alternate universes and space travel in his latest collection.

"Write it out!"We also explore what poetry is and what it means to write poetry, highlighting common poetic forms and how to write in meter and rhyme. 

Once you’ve read up, try it out for yourself—write a poem out on a card and slip it in the submission jar for us to read, or try your hand at wordplay by moving the tiles around our word board to make lines of verse. We’ll read everything we can, and particularly interesting, funny, or well-done poems might end up on the library’s brand new Tumblr!

If you want to come celebrate with other poetry-enthusiasts (or just hear some awesome poetry), we’re hosting a PoemShare on April 24 at 7 p.m., just outside room 207. Bring a short piece or two by your favorite poet, or share what you’re reading right now! We’ll all hear poetry that’s  new to us and talk about the poems we hear over snacks.

We’re excited to share the past, present, and future of American poetry with our patrons. Come see us!