April is National Poetry Month

The Library will be celebrating National Poetry Month with a few programs that are educational and fun for the whole family.


Magnetic Poetry
Daily during library hours in April
The Trove
All Ages
One of the ways the Library will engage children with poetry is to give them the opportunity to write their own poetry with poetry magnets throughout the entire month in the Trove. There will be a magnet board on display so that children will be able to play and arrange words to make a magnetic poem.

Poetry Month Grab & Go Kits
Available beginning April 3
Grades K-3
Poetry Month Grab & Go Kits will be available in the lobby beginning April 3. Each of these kits will include cut out words, pink construction paper, and a sheet with an example of a poem and directions.

Sit Down & Write
Monday April 3 – Thursday April 6 at 2:00 p.m.
Edge Media Lab
Grades 4-8
Sit Down & Write will take place during school break week, Monday April 3 – Thursday April 6.  This program is for kids and teens who are interested in learning more about poetry and creative writing. During this workshop participants will explore character creation, Blackout Poetry, Fairy Tales, Classics & the Public Domain, and Voice with librarians Kat, Caroline, Donna and Erica. For more information on Sit Down & Write please click here.

Poetry Slam
Wednesday April 5 at 7:00 p.m.
Teens, Adults
Celebrate poetry month at our monthly virtual Poetry Slam, hosted by Zork and Kristen. If you plan to perform and are performing for the first time, please email Kristen with a short bio.

Selected Poetry Books

They Call Me Güero by David Bowles
Grades 4-8
Library Catalog: book
Libby: ebook

“Explore the life of a border kid in Bowles’ spirited verse novel. For the 12-year-old Mexican-American narrator that everyone calls Güero, the borderlands (that “strip of frontier, / home of hardy plants”) means more than home…. In this slim verse novel, Bowles splendidly translates border life via loosely connected vignettes in an eclectic mix of poetic forms. Güero’s voice brims with humor, wit, and bits of slang, and a diverse cast of characters offers hints of other cultures…. A valuable, too-brief look at the borderlands.” –Kirkus Reviews

Hip Hop Speaks to Children by Nikki Giovanni
Grades 2-4
Library Catalog: book

“The subtitle is more descriptive of the content of this engaging book than the title. There is a wealth of material, ranging from classic poems by Langston Hughes (several of them read by Hughes on the accompanying CD), Lucille Clifton, Eloise Greenfield, Maya Angelou, Walter Dean Myers, Jacqueline Woodson and others, to modern hip-hop and rap…. The variety of poetic forms and performance styles (sometimes elucidated on the CD, as well as in Giovanni’s introduction) makes this collection an excellent source of material not found together elsewhere.”  –Kirkus Reviews

Legacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance by Nikki Grimes
Grades 4-6
Library Catalog:book
Libby: ebook

“Grimes’ new collection of poems weaves a contemporary Black feminist impulse while recovering the underappreciated contributions of Harlem Renaissance women poets. Winner of both the Children’s Literature Legacy Award and the ALAN Award, Grimes continues to deliver distinctively situated, heart-filled offerings that tie together generations of Black artistic excellence aimed at incubating positive social change…. After more than 77 books, Grimes remains as inspired as ever, drawing on the historic strength of Black women’s brilliance to give a timely, healing mirror to a new generation of readers. The ancestors are proud.”  –Kirkus Reviews

Cast Away by Naomi Shihab Nye
Grades 4-6
Library Catalog: book
Libby: ebook

“Nye explores what we throw away, literally (she’s a litter picker-upper) and metaphorically. In 80-plus poems, Nye writes conversationally, injecting humor, outrage, and reminiscence. Unambiguously championing the environment, she marvels at how casually humans toss trash. ‘What about these energy bottles pitched by someone / who didn’t have energy to find a bin? / Fun Finger Food wrappers dropped by someone / not so fun?’ An archaeologist of urban detritus, she ponders her discoveries, championing children throughout. ‘Blocks around elementary schools / are surprisingly free of litter. / Good custodians?’” –Kirkus Reviews

Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson
Grades 4-8
Library Catalog: book
Libby: ebook

“An African American preteen finds his world upended when his father, a retired professional football player, displays symptoms of traumatic brain injury. Twelve-year-old Zachariah “ZJ” Johnson Jr. loves his dad but wonders who he would be if his dad was not a famous athlete. Although his dad is in the spotlight, he is full of love and attention for ZJ and his friends. And fortunately, ZJ has three friends who see him and not his father’s shadow. “Zachariah 44” was a fearless player who suffered many concussions during his playing career. The changes in his father begin slowly and intermittently. Soon the headaches and memory lapses grow increasingly frequent and scary for ZJ and his mom, since the doctors do not seem to have any answers…. A poignant and achingly beautiful narrative shedding light on the price of a violent sport.” –Kirkus Reviews

Categories: Authors & Books, Events, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.


  1. Lisa

    Thank you for this great list of books focusing on poetry and other topics. Poetry is a great form of expression and deserves more recognition. Looking forward to checking out some of the books you have listed.

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