Everyone loves to throw a bash, and poetry fans are no exception. Why, even Saddam’s getting into the act. Here are just a few events taking place this month:
— The Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest challenges high school students to memorize and perform great poems. Up for grabs: $50,000 dollars in scholarships and school prizes. State finals are taking place throughout the month and the national finals will take place on May 16 in Washington, DC.
— Now through April 29 New York’s Poets House will be hosting their annual Showcase which highlights around 2,000 volumes of poetry published in the last year. As if that weren’t enough, the Poets House is also hosting eight other events during the month of April.
–On April 20, City Lore, in conjunction with the upcoming Peoples Poetry Gathering, will present what promises to be a very unique poetry and cultural experience. From their email newsletter: “In 1998, during the recent civil war in Sierra Leone, a fire destroyed the only written copy of a village’s epic poem. In 2002, City Lore commissioned finah poet and John Jay College professor Kewulay Kamara to return to his village and recreate the ancient story in song for the People’s Poetry Gathering. Voices of Kings: the Dankawali Village Epic will be performed at Windows over Harlem Restaurant following a delicious African feast on Thursday, April 20, 7:00 – 9:30 pm as a prelude to the Peoples Poetry Gathering.” For tickets and more information, call 212-529-1955.
— US Poet Laureate (and my good buddy) Ted Kooser will headline I, Too, Sing America: Lawmakers Celebrate National Poetry Month in Washington, DC.
— The Chicago Public Library will hold their 7th annual Poetry Fest on Saturday, April 30. The celebration includes workshops, lectures, readings as well as children’s events.
And of course, there’s always a full menu of poetic events happening every day at the Bowery Poetry Club.
These are just a few select events happening this month, but there are literally thousands of smaller gatherings, readings, celebrations and exhibits taking place across the country, from larger cities to small towns. Check your local news sources for the latest events in your area, as well as local universities, schools and libraries for special programs marking National Poetry Month. (Note: If there’s an event taking place in your neighborhood, share the details here — and if you attend, we’d love to hear about that, too.)