Poetry is one of the oldest forms of writing, oral history was often told in verse. April was inaugurated as National Poetry Month 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.
Goals for Poetry Month
- highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets,
- encourage the reading of poems,
- assist teachers in bringing poetry into their classrooms,
- increase the attention paid to poetry by national and local media,
- encourage increased publication and distribution of poetry books, and
- encourage support for poets and poetry.
*This information was gathered from the poets.org website.
Reading Without Walls mean exploring books about characters who look or live differently than you, topics you haven't discovered, or formats that you haven't tried. Reading Without Walls promotes diversity and opens readers' eyes to new ideas and experiences.
- Read a book about a character who doesn't look like you or live like you
- Read a book about a topic you don't know much about
- Read a book in a format that you don't normally read for fun (a chapter book, a graphic novel, a book in verse or an audio book)
For National Poetry Month 2018, Poets.org present Dear Poet, a multimedia education project that invites young people in grades five through twelve to write letters in response to poems written and read by some of the award-winning poets who serve on the Academy of American Poets Board of Chancellors.
To participate in this year’s Dear Poet project, students will watch one of the videos of Chancellors reading and discussing one of their poems. Then, write them a letter in response and send it by post or email to the Academy of American Poets, 75 Maiden Lane, Suite 901, New York, NY 10038 or firstname.lastname@example.org by April 30, 2018. Please include your name, the name of the poet to whom you’ve written, and (when applicable) your teacher’s contact information. We will consider all letters for publication on Poets.org in 2018. And our Chancellors will reply to select letters of their choosing. https://www.poets.org/national-poetry-month/dear-poet-project
Poem in Your Pocket Day 2018 is on April 26 and is part of National Poetry Month. On this day, select a poem, carry it with you, and share it with others at schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, street corners, and on social media using the hashtag #pocketpoem. Come to the library and find a poem to take with you.
Poems, scholarship, and stories with JSTOR
To help you celebrate Poetry Month, JSTOR has gathered some resources for educators and their students.
JSTOR has created a set of printable flyers that highlight poetry topics in depth. Each flyer has tear-off tabs along the bottom that include citations for poems and articles on JSTOR. Print the files, snip the tabs, and post them in your classroom and library:
- Learn more about Contemporary American Poets
- Learn more about Performance Poetry
- Learn more about T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
Since its launch in 2014, JSTOR Daily has published more than 2,500 articles that provide interesting analysis and context and link back to academic content on JSTOR for context and insight. Here are just five of their best on poets and poetry:
- The privileged and impoverished life of Phillis Wheatley
- 10 poems by African-American poets
- 7 poems by Marie Howe
- Ten breathtaking nature poems
- 10 poems by Lucie Brock-Broido
Look for more Daily articles on poetry this month!