How Can You Celebrate National Poetry Month?

A woman reads an original poem to an audience
Reading your poetry to others is a great way to celebrate National Poetry Month!

April is National Poetry Month. It’s a celebration of poetry that takes place every April. The first National Poetry Month was in 1996. The Academy of American Poets started the day to make people more aware of poetry and to help them enjoy it.

What makes poetry different from other kinds of writing? The words of a poem are arranged in lines and groups of lines. Poems often have rhythm. Some poems have rhymes—but poems don’t have to rhyme! Poets try to stir up their readers’ imaginations or emotions. Did you hear nursery rhymes when you were little? Those are poetry. But some poems try to teach us something about life or tell a story. There are many forms and styles of poetry.

One way that you can celebrate poetry is to read or listen to poems at a poetry slam. A poetry slam is a place to perform. Poets read their own work. They use a lot of expression to connect with the audience. It’s called a slam because the audience can react quickly to what they hear. Poetry slams are often held at parks, bookstores, libraries, or coffee shops. You could organize a poetry slam at your school. It’s a great way to celebrate poetry!

What Do You Think? Would you like to share your poetry at a poetry slam? Why or why not?

Photo Credit: Marmaduke St. John/Alamy Stock Photo