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Memorial Day Hours

DC Public Library will be open online only on Monday, May 27 in observation of Memorial Day. The DC Public Library is open online for customers 365 days a year! Access digital resources and watch live and pre-recorded virtual programs on Youtube

Learn More About Library Hours

April is National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month. Launched in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets, National Poetry Month is an annual opportunity to recognize the importance of poetry and poets in our culture. DC Public Library invites you to celebrate with us by joining us for signature events, checking out wonderful books for all ages, participating in the 2024 Haiku Contest and more!

Signature Events

Open Mic

MLK Open Mic 

Sunday, Apr. 7, 3:30 p.m. | Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library

Do you have a song or poem that you wrote or just love to perform? Come out to MLK's Open Mic to share it! Sign up beginning at 3:15 p.m. to take the stage and show us your talents! ASL interpretation is available upon request.

If They Come For Us

Mt. Pleasant Reads | If They Come For Us

Wednesday, Apr. 17, 7 p.m. | Mt. Pleasant Library

For National Poetry Month we'll be discussing the If They Come for Us by Fatimah Asghar. In this debut volume of poetry, Asghar captures the experience of being a young Pakistani Muslim woman in America, delving into race and sexuality, violence, and orphanhood.

Person typing on a typewriter

Poetry on Demand with The Walking Mall Poet

Saturday, Apr. 20, Noon | Southwest Library

Celebrate National Poetry Month with a free personalized poem written on a typewriter by The Walking Mall Poet and try your own hand at typewriter poetry. You don't have to visit the tortured poets department to get some custom verse. Stop by the Southwest Neighborhood Library between Noon and 3 p.m. for a personalized typewritten poem written while you wait by The Walking Mall Poet.

La Comunidad Reads with Lupita Aquino

La Comunidad Reads Celebrates National Poetry Month

Thursday, Apr. 24, 7 p.m. | Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library

For National Poetry Month, join us for a panel conversation celebrating Latinx poets and poetry. In conversation with Lupita Aquino, poets Rigoberto González, Sami Miranda, José Olivarez will discuss their work.

Teen writing in a notebook

Youth Poet Laureate Workshop

Multiple Dates | Multiple Locations

The 2024 Youth Poet Laureate Tour at DC Public Library will feature several youth poet laureates from across the DMV who will read their work, then lead a workshop for other young people on how to write poetry from their own perspective. This Know Your Power program is sponsored by the DC Public Library Foundation and Pepco.

See All Upcoming Poetry Month Events

Submit to the 2024 Haiku Contest!

DC Public Library 2024 Haiku Contest

Contest Dates: April 1 - 30

For the past few years, D.C. residents have enjoyed crafting haikus in celebration of National Poetry Month for our annual Haiku Contest. Back for another year, Residents ages 6 and up are invited to submit a haiku to their neighborhood library for the 2024 Haiku Contest from Apr. 1 - 30.

What is a Haiku?

A haiku is a traditional Japanese poem made up of three lines, with 17 syllables total.

Line 1 is made up of 5 syllables.
Line 2 is made up of 7 syllables.
Line 3 is made up of 5 syllables.

Traditionally, haiku don't rhyme and use imagery from the natural world, but you can decide if you want to be creative with rhyme, images, and content.


Learn More About the Haiku Contest

Books for Teens

Poemhood: Our Black Revival

Poemhood, Our Black Revival

Amber McBride, Taylor Byas and Erica Martin

Inheritance: A Visual Poem


Elizabeth Acevedo

Ink Knows No Borders

Ink Knows No Borders

Patrice Vecchione and Alyssa Raymond

Research and Learn About Poetry Month

National Poetry Month Event Playlist

Stream great library programs on demand featuring incredible poets like Clint Smith, Elizabeth Acevedo and more as they talk about their artistry and share some of their work.

Freegal Music+

We often think of poetry as an art form that expresses emotions and ideas using words in a distinctive pattern or rhythm, but did you know that the idea of poetry extends to music? Symphonic poems, also known as tone poems, are a piece of music that invites the listener to imagine emotions, scenes and images through the instruments. Stream a special Poetry Month playlist with Freegal.


Dive into words and poetry as inspiration for art with Creativebug's "Words Inform Images" daily practice, a month of bite-sized classes exploring collage, mark-making, doodling and more taught by multimedia artist and educator e bond.

Universal Class

Deepen your appreciation of poetry and elevate your own writing with Universal Class' Poetry and Creative Writing courses! These free, self-paced, non-credit classes are led by real instructors who will give you continuous feedback on your progress.

Very Short Introductions

Very Short Introductions offer concise introductions to a diverse range of subjects, including poetry and American poetry. Discover a new topic or subject with these intelligent and serious introductions written by authors who are experts in their field.

Just for Kids Access Video

Stream clips and full-length episodes of great family shows, including Reading Rainbow, The Electric Company, Sesame Street and Crayola featuring poems, facts about noted poets, activities for kids interested in writing their own poems and more.