Celebrate National Poetry Month - Creative Poetry Writing and More!

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National Poetry Month was first started in April of 1996 by Academy of American Poets. National Poetry Month is meant to celebrate poets, their poetry and their many contributions to American society and culture. In 2021 we're celebrating the 25th annual National Poetry Month!

There are as many ways to celebrate National Poetry Month as there are kinds of poems (and that's a lot) so let's get started. 

 

1. Try Your Hand at Writing Your Own Poems - The best way to learn is by doing! In the video below I'll show you some creative, fun, and easy ways to start writing.

 

 

Got the poetry bug? Check out these titles for more tips and inspiration for writing your own poems.

Catch Your Breath Writing Poignant Poetry by Laura Purdie Salas with Jeni Wittrock, editorHow to Write Poetry by Paul B. JaneczkoA Child's Introduction to Poetry by Michael Driscoll and illustrated by Meredith HamiltonWords, Wit and Wonder Writing Your Own Poem by Nancy Loewen and illustrated by Christopher LylesSeeing the Blue Between Advice and Inspiration for Young Poets Compiled by Paul B. JaneczkoWrite! Write! Write! Poems by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater and illustrated by Ryan O' Rouke

 

Not quite ready to be the next great poet? Here are some other great ways to celebrate National Poetry Month! 

 

2. Learn About the Lives of Famous American Poets and Read Their Poems - Here are four names to get you started: Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Langston Hughes, & Maya Angelou.

    Becoming Emily: The Life of Emily Dickinson by Krystyna Poray Goddu        Who Was Walt Whitman? by Kirsten Anderson and illustrated by Tim Foley      Langston Hughes: Life Makes Poems by Jodie A. Shull       Who Was Maya Angelou? by Ellen Labrecque and illustrated by Dede Putra

 Emily Dickinson Poetry for Kids Illustrated by Christine Davenier and Edited by Susan Snively, PhD Walt Whitman Edited by Jonathan Levin and illustrated by Jim Burke  The Dream Keeper and Other Poems by Langston Hughes and illustrated by Brian Pinkney    Maya Angelou Edited by Edwin Graves Wilson and illustrated by Jerome Lagarrigue

 

3. Read a Poetry Anthology - An anthology is a collection of poems. Sometimes they're all by the same author, sometimes they're by different authors but about the same subject.

Thanku: Poems of Gratitude Illustrated by Marlena Myles  and Edited by Miranda PaulDreams from Many Rivers: A Hispanic History of the United States Told in Poems by Margarita Engle with art by Beatriz Gutierrez HernandezLegacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance by Nikki GrimesHello, Earth! Poems to Our Planet Written by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Miren Asiain LoraCan I Touch Your Hair: Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship by Irene Latham & Charles Waters and illustrated by Sean Qualls & Selina AlkoThe Poetry of U.S. - More Than 200 Poems that Celebrate the People, Places, and Passions of the United States Edited by J. Patrick LewisLion of the Sky: Haiku for all Seasons by Laura Purdie Salas with illustrations by Mercè López

Cast Away: Poems for Our Time by Naomi Shihab NyeFeel the Beat: Dance Poems that Zing from Salsa to Swing Written by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Kristi ValiantVoices of Justice: Poems about People Working for a Better World by George Ella Lyon and illustrated by Jennifer M. PotterWith My Hands: Poems About Making Things Words by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater with pictures by Lou Fancher & Steve JohnsonIn the Woods by David Elliott and Illustrated by Rob DunlaveyThe Ghostly Carousel: Delightfully Frightgil Poems by Calef BrownI Remember: Poems and Pictures of Heritage Compiled by Lee Bennett Hopkins

 

4. Read a Novel Written In Verse - Not all books are written in standard chapters and ordinary form. Some authors prefer to write "in verse" which means that their novels are written in poetry.

The Colors of the Rain by R.L. ToalsonThe Moon Within by Aida SalazarKnockout by K.A. HoltOther Words for Home by Jasmine WargaBooked by Kwame AlexanderForget Me Not by Ellie TerryGarvey's Choice by Nikki Grimes

Unbound: A Novel in Verse by Ann E. BurgAll He Knew by Helen FrostBeyond Me by Annie Donwerth-ChikamatsuBefore the Ever After by Jacqueline WoodsonAlone by Megan E. FreemanHouse Without Walls by Ching Yeung RussellWhen You Know What I Know by Sonja Solter