Poetry Is for Everyone

Poetry has been a well-loved literary form for thousands of years. Since poems come in so many forms, they appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds. In 1996, the Academy of American Poets established April as National Poetry Month, opens a new window, a time to celebrate American poets and poetry. The activities supported by National Poetry Month partners include receiving a daily poem in your inbox, listening to a poetry podcast, or sharing poems as part of a Poem in Your Pocket Day, opens a new window on April 18, 2024. 

Other ways to participate in National Poetry Month include reading poetry, listening to a poem, or even writing one of your own. You can choose to read from an anthology of poems, a favorite poet’s work, or find a new poet. A Taste of Classic American Poetry & Verse, opens a new window and Hispanic American Poetry for Young People, opens a new window have great selections of titles for you to try. 

Read some poems with the children in your life. They often appreciate nonsense verse, nursery rhymes, and poems from other cultures. Find some ideas here: My Librarian: Children's Poetry, opens a new window. Listening to poems brings an extra dimension to your experience. Some options of audio poetry can be found at Poetry Out Loud, opens a new window

Perhaps you would like to try writing a short poem yourself. Haiku, traditional Japanese poetry with three lines, or two-line couplets are short poems that are fun to write. My Librarian: Write a Haiku or Couplet, opens a new window has several resources to help you create new poems. 

If you’d like to discover local talent, Virginia has a wide variety of poets. The Poetry Society of Virginia, opens a new window has seven regional groups with hundreds of member poets. Virginia’s poet laureate is Margaret O. Daramola,, opens a new window a writer and spoken-word artist. Kashvi Ramani, opens a new window is Virginia’s first Youth Poet Laureate. Check out the work of several of our local poets at My Librarian: Celebration of Local Poets.

If you’d like to hear our local poets read their work in person, you can attend our Celebration of Poetry, opens a new window on Saturday, April 6, 2024, at the Howell Branch or join the Poetry Workshop and Open Poetry Reading, opens a new window with the Riverside Writers on Saturday, April 13, at the Salem Church Branch.   

Although poetry is an old literary form, it is constantly changing and updating itself, while retaining its beauty and creativity. Enjoy poems with us this April by participating in large or small ways, as well celebrate this beautiful writing. You may discover that including poetry as part of your reading enriches your life.