Launched by the Academy of American Poets in April 1996, National Poetry Month reminds the public that poets have an integral role to play in our culture and that poetry matters. Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K–12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, families, and, of course, poets, marking poetry's important place in our lives. In 2021, the Academy of American Poets looks forward to celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of this annual celebration!
Celebrate National Poetry Month with the help of some of the great resources and events listed below:
Blackout Poetry Poetry Month Take & Make (Available for Pickup April 14 - 21)
Celebrate Poetry Month by letting your creativity shine. Register to receive instructions and materials to start a Blackout Poetry activity at home.
Inspire others to explore their creativity by sharing your completed project! Share on social media with the hash-tags #poetrymonth #foundpoetry #rosellepld .
Poem-a-Day is the original and only daily digital poetry series featuring over 250 new, previously unpublished poems by today’s talented poets each year.
Sign up to receive a Poem-a-Day delivered to your inbox.
Poem of the Day Poetry Foundation
The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience.
Sign up to receive a Poem of the Day delivered to your inbox.
The Poetry Foundation is hosting many great events throughout National Poetry Month. View the calendar of events here.
Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Awards Currently accepting submissions. The deadline is May 31, 2021.
The contest is open to young people currently in kindergarten through 12th grade across the state of Illinois. Participating young people can be affiliated with any school (public, private, home, etc) or other institution. Limit one poem per student. Poems for grades K-5 have a limit of 25 lines. Poems for grades 6-12 have a limit of 50 lines. To submit your poem, complete this online form.
Gwendolyn Brooks summed up the contest best in a note from 1977: “All the children who entered the contest are winners . . . . They worked hard. They created. And that is what is important.” With this spirit in mind, we’d like to thank everyone who submitted a poem. We’d also like to thank all of the teachers, librarians, parents, afterschool mentors, and others who supported and nurtured young writers throughout Illinois: you’re supporting the next generation of poets in Illinois!
GBYPA Youth Poetry Writing Workshop With Tara Betts Saturday, May 1, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
In support of the 5th Annual Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Awards (GBYPA), Illinois Humanities is hosting a free writing workshop for youth in grades 7-12.
Facilitated by award-winning poet Dr. Tara Betts, this one-hour workshop will introduce participants to the Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Awards, a contest for youth poets in grades K-12 originally started by Pulitzer Prize winning poet Gwendolyn Brooks in 1970, and focus on writing a poem that youth will be encouraged to submit to the contest.
Latin Hip Hop As the New Poetry Wednesday, April 28, 7:00 - 8:00 p.m.
A Road Scholar Program by Catalina Maria Johnson
This program, with video and lyric examples will make a case for hip hop as the new poetry with a focus on Latinos in the U.S., the Americas. The presentation, paired with slides and a rich set of musical videos, is lively, light and fun, and focused on participation, discussion, and musical enjoyment! Zoom’s interactive functions are employed to take polls and encourage audience interaction. Register to receive Zoom link.
Poem in Your Pocket Day Thursday, April 29, 2021
Every April, on Poem in Your Pocket Day, people celebrate by selecting a poem, carrying it with them, and sharing it with others throughout the day at schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, and on social media using the hashtag #PocketPoem.
Join us in celebrating Poem in Your Pocket Day this year! View and download this guide to celebrating poetry.