Library Services Update:Starting Thursday, February 11, the library will re-open for browsing! Click this message for hours and information about other library services available.

Urbandale Public Library/National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry month, a time when readers, students, teachers, booksellers, librarians, and poets celebrate the importance of poetry in our lives.

Online Poetry Workshop – April 30, 6:00 p.m.*

Iowa poet Laura Johnson will lead us through a live, online workshop designed to inspire your creative spirit!

Johnson will discuss poetry writing, and provide writing prompts and other resources.   For teens & adults. Pre-registration is required.

This meeting will take place via Zoom.  Please click on the link below to register.  This event will be recorded.

+Note time change from 3:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Click here to register in advance for this event:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Celebrate Poetry Wherever You Are

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.

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.

Care like crazy.

Share your work – and get in on a friendly competition!

Try your hand at blackout or collage poetry, take a picture of your creation, and send it to (jpg or png files, please) by Thursday, April 23. Along with your photo, please send a message that includes your poem written in sentence form the way you would like it displayed. We’d love to receive submissions from all ages, and poems created by families working together are encouraged!

We’ll showcase your work on our website (listing first names only) the last week of April.

The Urbandale Police Department is joining in to make this even more fun! Submissions made to the library as explained above will be read and the writer with the best poem in either of their two favorite categories will be recognized by the Urbandale Police Department!

Which categories do they love to read about? First Responders & Community!

Submit a poem in either of these two categories and you could be the lucky winner!

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