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Author Spotlight: April is National Poetry Month


April is National Poetry Month: 30 days to celebrate poets and their craft. Consider a volume of poetry for your next book group selection.


April 01, 2004

"To have great poets, there must be great audiences." Walt Whitman, Collect (1882). Notes Left Over

National Poetry Month, inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets (AAP) in 1996, brings together publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools, and poets of all ages to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture.

2004 Pulitzer Prize for poetryWalking to Martha's Vineyard, by Franz Wright

New & Notable Poetry

Book Sense, "top ten" list of the most noteworthy new and recent volumes of poetry. Each book title will link you to the Book Sense home page where you can enter your zip code and order the book from your local independent book store.

  1. Why I Wake Early: New Poems, by Mary Oliver
  2. God Went to Beauty School, by Cynthia Rylant
  3. Good Poems, by Garrison Keillor
  4. Shattered Sonnets, Love Cards, And Other Back Handed Opportunities, by Olena Kalytak Davis
  5. Desiderata: Words for Life, by Max Ehrmann, photographs by Marc Tauss
  6. View with a Grain of Sand, by Wislawa Szymborska







Classic Works

Who's Who Directory of Poets: Search biographies, bibliographies, and samples (text or audio) of selected poems. Overwhelming? Here are some of our personal favorites to get you started.

  • Anna Akhmatova
  • Elizabeth Bishop
  • Rita Dove
  • Lawrence Ferlinghetti
  • Anthony Hecht
  • Langston Hughes
  • Federico Garca Lorca
  • Edna St. Vincent Millay
  • Pablo Neruda
  • Frank OHara
  • Ovid
  • Ranier Marie Rilke
  • Anne Sexton
  • Wallace Stevens
  • Lord Alfred Tennyson
  • Dylan Thomas
  • Derek Walcott
  • William Butler Yeats

Other Links & Resources

  • National Poetry Almanac: launch 2004, a web site that provides 365 days’ worth of poetry highlights, activities, ideas, and history. Check the almanac daily and discover how poetry can be “a response to the daily necessity of getting the world right” (poet Wallace Stevens).

  • National Poetry Map of America: a state-by-state listing of poets, poetry journals, poetry organizations, literary presses, poet laureates, conferences and writing programs. Discover what's happening in your neighborhood.

  • Poetry Society of America: home of the Poetry in Motion and Favorite Poem projects.

  • Poets & Writers Magazine: although targeted to the "working" poet and writer, the magazine offers author profiles and insights into the writing process of interest to the general reader
  • The League of Canadian Poets: brings together schools, publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, and poets across the country to celebrate poetry and its vital place in Canada's culture. Communities and businesses participate through readings, festivals, book displays, and other events.

"A poem... begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness. ...It finds the thought and the thought finds the words." — Robert Frost, Letter to Louis Untermeyer

(January 1, 1916)



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