Celebrate Poetry at the Library

Celebrate Poetry at the Library


Every April we celebrate National Poetry Month, which was started by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. 

National Poetry Month aims to encourage people to read poems, increase the attention paid to poetry by the media, and encourage support for poets and poetry. For more information about the Academy of American Poets’ celebration, visit their website.

Keep reading to find out how you can celebrate National Poetry Month at the library. 


Blackout Poetry at the Library

This April at the Main Library we have a bulletin board dedicated to creating blackout poetry.

Blackout poems can be created using old book pages, articles cut from newspapers, magazine pages, or even advertisements. Using the pages, blackout poets isolate, then piece together, single words or short phrases from the texts to create lyrical masterpieces. There aren't any real rules to what a finished blackout poem should look like.

Get inspired by these examples of different approaches to blackout poetry.

Blackout Poetry Examples

Everyone is welcome to create their own blackout poems and post them on the bulletin board. All supplies are provided in the teen area at the Main Library. 


Poetry Books for Teens

Novels in verse, or verse novels, are some of the most widely published forms of poetry marketed toward teens. The Academy of American Poets describes a verse novel as a hybrid form that filters the devices of fiction through the medium of poetry. You can find over 100 novels in verse in our young adult collection.


The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

One novel in verse we are extra excited about is The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo, which won the 2018 National Book Award Winner for Young People's Literature.

We are thrilled to announce that Elizabeth Acevedo will be speaking and signing books at the Fort Smith Library on the evening of October 12, 2019.

In The Poet X, Xiomara Batista, a teen in Harlem, discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world.

Check out this list for more recommended novels in verse.



Ready for a challenge?

NaPoWriMo, or National Poetry Writing Month, is an annual project in which participating poets attempt to write a poem a day for the month of April. The challenge was started in 2003 by Maureen Thorson, a poet living in Washington, DC. 

National Poetry Writing Month 2019

NaPoWriMo is a great way to jump-start your poetry writing practice and challenge yourself to write new poems.

Maureen posts poetry prompts and writing tips from other poets during the month of April. Visit the website for more information and to participate.

In the meantime, try these poetry prompts from Kelli Russell Agodon to get started. Bring your poems to the Main Library and share them with your teen specialist, Liz.

We look forward to celebrating National Poetry Month with you this year!