National Poetry Month | Los Angeles Public Library
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National Poetry Month

Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Central Library,

April is National Poetry Month, “Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996 ... held every April, is the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets celebrating poetry’s vital place in our culture.” The Academy also invites young people to participate in a special event.

Los Angeles is very lucky to have Poet Laureate, Mr. Luis J. Rodriguez, and  his recent blogs speak to everyone about why poetry matters, not only in April, but all the time:  Why Celebrate National Poetry Month and Why Poetry Matters. Mr. Rodriguez is offering a reading and discussion about poetry. On Mr. Rodriguez’s own site there is a link to a podcast with Jennifer Sabih, from KCET SoCal Connected, who interviewed him at Central Library, which was a refuge and inspiration for the Poet Laureate.

The Literature & Fiction Department would like to add other poetry resources:

Writer’s Almanac:  by signing up for emails, patrons can receive a daily poem to read, or listen to Garrison Keillor read. There is an archive going back to 1996.

Library of Congress, poetry.  A website with links to a great variety of resources on poetry, including a Teachers’ Page, links to online readings, podcasts, criticism, and other poetry resources from our national library. Patrons can subscribe to email updates. 

Lunch Poems: A Noontime Poetry Reading Series from Robert Haas, former U.S. Poet Laureate. A reading series available by podcast, from UCTV, or YouTube. The links are on the site.

Beyond Baroque Foundation
“Beyond Baroque is one of the United States' leading independent Literary Arts Centers and public spaces dedicated to expanding the public's knowledge of poetry, literature and art through cultural events and community interaction. Founded in 1968, Beyond Baroque is based out of the original City Hall building in Venice, California.” Among their numerous activities are readings, contests, and  workshops.

Write Girl  “WriteGirl is a creative writing and mentoring organization that promotes creativity, critical thinking and leadership skills to empower teen girls.” There is still time to pledge and have someone write a poem just for you.

Poets House  sponsored a program here at LAPL.  Located in New York, they have an archive of videos and audios.

Center for the Art of Translation: is an institution out of San Francisco which offers podcasts.

World Without Borders is the world of literature. Click on the poetry section and you will find 689 full text entries online.  Sign up for emails for the latest news.

New and recent poetry, a small sampling;

810.8 D2715      Dawnland voices: an anthology of indigenous writing from New England
This volume opens up worlds of poetry, often overlooked, from Native Americans:  Abenaki, Maliseet, Mi’kmaq, Mohegan, Narragansett, Nipmuc, Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Schaghticoke, and Wampanoag

811 K473-1      Tweaky village by Kevin Killian
Killian’s poems are knock-outs in their mix of subject and style.

811 N576-1       Red juice:  poems 1998- 2008  by Hoa Nguyen
These poems are tender, brash and lyrical.

811.09 H678      Twenty poems that could save America and other essays  by Tony Hoagland
With passion and insight Hoagland tells us why we need poetry now, more than ever.

821 B571            Hook and eye: a selection of poems by Judith Beveridge.
She is one of Australia’s treasured modern poets.

821 H434-20      Selected poems, 1988-2013  by Seamus Heaney
A collection of poems compiled by the 1995 Nobel Prize winner in literature.

891.58108 I115    I am the beggar of the world:  landays from contemporary Afghanistan
A surprising book from women who are oppressed in many ways, but their spirits, heart-felt desires (secular, sensual, and religious),and thoughts are not.

894.511108 l7235   Light within the shade: 800 years of Hungarian poetry
An introduction to the rich heritage of Hungarian poetry, from the 14th to the 21st century; with two critical essays.