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Urbandale Public Library/National Poetry Month

April 2021 marks the 25th annual celebration of National Poetry Month!

Celebrating Poetry Resources & Events

Whether you’re already a poet, a poetry fan, or just interested in exploring this genre, there’s lots of ways you can get involved.

  • Browse poetry books in our catalog.
  • This month’s “Active Adults Online” event is all about poetry! We’ll share our favorite poems and experiment with poetry-related crafts you can make at home! For ages 18 and up.
  • Visit the Poetry Foundation website to read poetry and prose for all ages, listen to audio poems, learn about contemporary poets, and more.
  • The American Academy of Poets is hosting their 18th annual “Poetry & the Creative Mind” program on Thursday, April 29th, 2021 at 6:30 PM CST. This event features leading and legendary actors, dancers, artists, musicians, and public figures sharing their favorite poems. Register for this free, virtual event here.

Poetry Writing Exercises

Blackout poetry is when a poet uses a marker to form a poem by crossing out text in an existing document. You can make a blackout poem using a page from a book (we recommend using one that is already damaged), a page from a magazine, or even a newspaper article. If you are feeling extra creative, you can add some additional artwork to the page. Here are a few examples of blackout poetry created using a page from a book and newspaper articles!

Stop warrior!
You can’t last very long.
Luck might well be dead,
But I want to try
If it’s not too late.

You want to help him.
That’s worthy.
Prepare immediately.

Our landscapes are wired for conformity.
Who wants to ditch

The darling plant
Replacing the trees?

Nature’s best hope calls
For the radical rethinking of
Forests, meadows, wetlands,
And the rest.

The calamity is the solution.

A house within a home
Was still gritty and industrial
Dotted with restaurants.

Garth lived many lives
For a partner
Drawn to history.

Collage poetry is when a poet uses words, phrases, or sections of other writing to form a poem, for example cutting out pieces of music lyrics, newspaper clippings, and advertisements and combining them on page.

Here’s an example created by one of our talented staff members:

Going to the future
Keep the good things free.
Changes always cost something.
I thought you looked back.
You can always return.

Fight.
Believe.
Care like crazy.

About National Poetry Month

National Poetry Month was started in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets to remind the public that poets have an integral role to play in our culture and that poetry matters. To learn more, visit poets.org.