April brings sunshine, spring flowers, and a month dedicated to poetry. National Poetry Month takes place every April to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry.

Why We Celebrate?

National Poetry Month was established in 1996 to highlight the legacies and achievements of American poets. The month of April is now the largest literary celebration in the world. Poetry is defined as a form of literature that expresses feelings and ideas while using a distinctive style and rhythm. There are a variety of different poem types based on the format, rhyme scheme, and subject matter. Some examples of poem styles are a Ballad, Limerick, and a Haiku. Every April, literary organizations come together to increase the attention towards poetry and support poets and poetry. The Academy of American Poets were inspired after seeing the success of Black History Month in February and Women’s History Month in March.

How Do We Celebrate?

Celebrate National Poetry Month by buying a book of poetry at the bookstore, memorizing a poem, or even watching one of several movies about poetry. Do you need help finding some inspiration? Sign up for a poetry class or workshop. Include friends in on all the poetry fun and start a poetry reading group. Or, learn about the different types of poems by reading up on the many poetic forms.

Poets in History

Many well-known people have contributed to the success of poetry and are the reason the support of National Poetry Month has spread more and more each year. Here are few of the greatest poets in history:

William Shakespeare is the most obvious name in poet and playwright history. He is known for his poetry in his plays Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello, and for his book of sonnets.

Edgar Allan Poe was an American author best known for his poems of horror and mystery. He wrote the famous poems The Raven and Annabel Lee.

Emily Dickinson became known for her poetry after her death since she spent most of her life as a recluse. Her most famous poems are ‘Hope’ Is the Thing with Feathers and I’m Nobody! Who are you?

Robert Frost was an American poet who is mainly known for his narrative poem, The Road Not Taken. He won four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry in his lifetime.

E.E. Cummings began writing poems at the age of 10. He is known for his unconventional punctuation and phrasing in his poems, and for not always using capital letters. Two examples of his great literary work are i carry your heart with me and Buffalo Bill’s.

Maya Angelou is one of the more recent poets we celebrate on this day. Her famous literary works include a memoir on her life called I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and a poem for President Bill Clinton’s inaugural ceremony, On the Pulse of Morning.

Whether you’re a poetry lover or you’re new to the poetic art form, find a poem to inspire you during April’s National Poetry Month.

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