National Poetry Month
Launched by the Academy of American Poets in April 1996, National Poetry Month reminds the public that poets have an integral role to play in our culture and that poetry matters. Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K–12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, families, and, of course, poets, marking poetry's important place in our lives.
Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month from poets.org
The Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature at the Library of Congress dates back to 1943 and contains "nearly two thousand recording of poets and prose writers participating in literary events at the Library’s Capitol Hill campus as well as sessions at the Library’s Recording Laboratory.
Listen to audio-recorded readings of former Consultants in Poetry Elizabeth Bishop, Gwendolyn Brooks and Robert Frost; Nobel Laureates Mario Vargas Llosa and Czeslaw Milosz, and renowned writers such as Ray Bradbury, Margaret Atwood, and Kurt Vonnegut read from their work at the Library of Congress."
SPOTLIGHT: Amanda Gorman
Amanda Gorman was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Daughter of a school teacher, Gorman began writing at an early age in an attempt to cope with a speech impediment. "One of the most rewarding moments of my career is when I'm speaking to a child who tells me they have the same speech impediment that I had to overcome and that they're going to keep writing or sharing their voice after hearing my story," Gorman relayed.
In 2017 Gorman was named the first-ever National Youth Poet Laureate of the United States. She previously served as the youth poet laureate of Los Angeles (at the age of 16), and she is the founder and executive director of One Pen One Page, an organization providing free creative writing programs for underserved youth. She graduated from Harvard University in 2020.
Gorman was selected by the Biden Administration to read an original poem for his Presidential Inauguration on January 20, 2021, making her the youngest poet to have served in this role.
"Since the Poet Laureateship was created by an act of Congress in 1985, nearly half of the laureates have taken on a signature project to raise the national appreciation of poetry. Learn about and explore these dynamic projects—with a digital presence—here."