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April is National Poetry Month!

Thursday, March 14, 2019
Image representing April as National Poetry Month and all the programs happening at Jacksonville Public Library

It’s hard to imagine a world without the soul-stirring poems of Maya Angelou, the comic verse of Ogden Nash, or the influential works of Walt Whitman, the father of free verse. Now during National Poetry Month, you can kick up your own poetry appreciation—and enjoyment—with poetry programs and more. 

Art Walk @ Main Library Wednesday, April 3, 2019, 5 - 8:30 p.m., Main Library 

Celebrate National Poetry Month with the Jacksonville Public Library as we showcase the evolution of oral tradition. From the historical traditions of West African Griots, to contemporary hip hop, people have used storytelling for generations to pass down their culture.


• Digital Storytelling (passive)

• Poetry scramble board (passive)

• Hope at Hand (workshop)

• Ekphrastic Poetry (passive)


• 5 – 6 p.m. Griot Power Hour

Get your teens involved:

P.O.M.E. Poetry Workshop Series Saturday, April 6, 2019, Noon – 2 p.m., Main Library

Product of My Environment (P.O.M.E.) is a 12 poem project that students will construct via free writing and performance workshops throughout the school year. Students will examine the history and cultural impact of the communities they are from as well as document the social and cultural impact they have had and intend to have on their environment. At the end of the workshop series, students will gain experiential knowledge of the copyright and self-publishing process as well as plan and facilitate a book signing/release at the Jacksonville Main Library.

Game On! : Poetry Song Slam & Teen Advisory Board Monday, April 8, 2019, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Webb Wesconnett Regional Library

Song lyrics are poetry! Listen to quotes from popular songs and compete with other teens to see who can identify the singer and song title. Earn community service hours for school and have a say in library programs. Teens 12-18 welcome!

Teens, Game On: Poetry Song Slam Wednesday, April 10, 2019, 3:30 p.m. University Park Branch Library

Let's celebrate National Poetry Month with a Poetry Song Slam! This gaming program will have teens competing to identify poetry and song lyrics.

What’s a Prelutsky? Wednesday, April 24, 2019, 4 p.m. San Marco Branch Library

Explore all things Prelutsky in this celebration of National Poetry Month. We’ll learn more about the award-winning poet—Jack Prelutsky—through fun activities sure to bring out the writer in all of us! Prelutsky was the first U.S. Children's Poet Laureate, and the author of more than 50 collections of poetry. His books are entertaining, engaging, and educating, and have been popular with kids for more than 40 years. School-age children from 5 – 12 years old won’t want to miss the fun!

San Marco Poetry Open Mic Tuesday, April 30, 2019, 6 - 7:30 p.m. San Marco Branch Library

Bring an original poem, song or an old favorite. Step up to the mic and share your poetry.

Poetry must be appropriate in language and content. Poems must be under three minutes in length.

Ages 12 and up.

Test your Poetry IQ: Who’s America’s first poet? 

Anne Bradstreet, a puritan who wrote poems three centuries ago, is considered America’s first poet. Click here to read a poem to her husband. To read about her life, check out the book Mistress Bradstreet: The Untold Life of America's First Poet by author Charlotte Gordon. To meet more poets, click here for LitFinder, one of the library’s online sources for literature, with more than 140,000 full-text poems you can access online with your library card.

Poetry Books


Jacksonville Public Library