April is National Poetry Month, and there are lots of local venues to encourage you to read, write and listen to poetry.
First up is the Northeast Library’s all-ages poetry contest. All throughout April, everyone is invited to submit an original one page poem written in the last year, for the chance to win prizes in three age groups and to read their poems at a gala awards ceremony May 24. Prior year’s poets have ranged in age from 4 to 84, so we’re particularly looking for any 3- or 85-year-old poets out there to break the record.
To get your creative juices flowing, check out “The Everything Writing Poetry Book” by Tina Eliopulos and “The Poetry Home Repair Manual” by Ted Kooser (for adults), “Poetry Matters” by Ralph Fletcher (for teens), and “Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry” by Jack Prelutsky and “Write Your Own Poetry” by Laura Purdie Salas (for kids).
Also on the agenda at the library this month: the PoetsWest professional poets’ open mic sessions at the Green Lake Branch on April 2 & 9 & 16; a poetry reading (patrons are highly encouraged to bring poems to read!) at Southwest Branch on April 3; a poetry appreciation group at the Central Library on April 5 & 12 & 19 & 26, a night of Russian and Polish poetry at the University Branch on April 11; a poetry workshop with poets from poetrybridge at the High Point Branch on April 12; a poetry reading with poet Diego Ropero at the Central Library on April 16; and a poetry reading by the translators of Korean poet Yi Song-Bok at the Montlake Branch on April 26. Check out these ShelfTalk posts for what’s happening at the Ballard and Fremont branches.
In the community, the Seattle Arts & Lectures Poetry Series hosts Brian Turner, Major Jackson and Susan Rich at Benaroya Hall on April 14; Capitol Hill’s Richard Hugo House hosts a program asking prominent Seattle artists to create art interpreting what they see and feel in their favorite poems on April 12; Fremont’s Open Books poetry bookstore hosts several readings in April, highlighted by Jim Moore on April 22; and Seattle Poetry Slam hosts semifinal poetry slams on April 12 & 19 to pick the last contestants to compete in the season’s final grand slam on May 6. And if you still don’t have your fill of poetry, PoetsWest features an online calendar of Northwest poetry readings throughout the year.
~Tom M., Northeast Branch