Libraries, National Poetry Month, Poetry

Top Picks for National Poetry Month

April’s celebration of poetry offers us the chance to see the world from a different perspective.  These picks are fairly new to our collection and invite us to pay attention to larger social and cultural issues, explored in distinct ways.

National Poetry Month was inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets celebrating poetry’s vital place in our culture.


Mr rogersA beautiful day in the neighborhood: the poetry of Mister Rogers – Rogers, Fred – For the first time ever, 75 beloved songs from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and The Children’s Corner are collected in this charming treasury, sure to be cherished by generations of children as well as the millions of adults who grew up with Mister Rogers. The audiobook includes the iconic song Won’t You Be My Neighbor, music and lyrics by Fred Rogers.

bookcover (6).pngThe sun and her flowers – Rupi Kaur –  A vibrant and transcendent journey about growth and healing. Ancestry and honoring one’s roots. Expatriation and rising up to find a home within yourself. Divided into five chapters and illustrated by Kaur, the sun and her flowers is a journey of wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming.

bookcoverWhat doesn’t kill you makes you blacker: a memoir in essays – Young, Damon. – The co-founder of presents a provocative and humorous memoir-in-essays that explores the direct impact of racism on his life, the shifting definition of black male identity, and the ongoing realities of white supremacy.

bookcover (1)Shout – Anderson, Laurie Halse – A memoir in verse shares the author’s life, covering her rape at thirteen, her difficult early childhood, and her experiences surrounding her publication of “Speak.”


bookcover (4)The poet X – Acevedo, Elizabeth. – Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking. Harlem. Ever since her body grew into curves, Xiomara Batista has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking. She pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers–

bookcover (3)The flame: poems, notebooks, lyrics, drawings – Cohen, Leonard, 1934-2016 – A collection of lyrics, poems, notebook sketches, and self-portraits maps the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee’s singular creative journey through the weeks just prior to his death.


bookcover (2)People kill people – Hopkins, Ellen – Follows six teenagers as they are brought into close contact over the course of one tense week, in a town with political and personal tensions that build until one fires a fatal gunshot.


bookcover (5).pngFast – Graham, Jorie, 1950- In her first new collection in five years-her most exhilarating, personal, and formally inventive to date-Graham explores the limits of the human and the uneasy seductions of the post-human. Conjuring an array of voices and perspectives-from bots, to the holy shroud, to the ocean floor, to a medium transmitting from beyond the grave-these poems give urgent form to the ever-increasing pace of transformation of our planet and ourselves.

Related Resources

  • National Poetry Month
    This website from the Academy of American Poets includes information on the history of National Poetry Month. Find out what happens during National Poetry Month on the frequently asked questions page.


  • The Poetry Learning Lab from the Poetry Foundation
    The Poetry Learning Lab is a great source of knowledge, including a glossary of poetry terms, links to public domain poems, and inspiring essays on poetry from writers and educators.


  • Writing With Writers: Poetry
    Scholastic offers this poetry resource for grades 1–8. There are tips from authors of children’s poetry, a teacher’s guide, step-by-step workshops, and more.


  • Favorite Poem Project
    The Favorite Poem Project, cosponsored by Boston College and the Library of Congress, is dedicated to celebrating, documenting, and encouraging poetry’s role in Americans’ lives. Watch or listen to citizens read poems they love.

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