Library helps you celebrate National Poetry Month While Social Distancing.

Do you enjoy reading poetry? Then you might not know that April is National Poetry Month.

Started in 1996, National Poetry Month is a worldwide celebration established by the Academy of American Poets that highlights a diverse selection of poets and their contributions to literature. This event was inspired by the success of Black History Month and Women’s History Month. In addition to promoting poetry through publishers, booksellers, literary organizations and educators, teachers and librarians focus on poetry during the month of April. Bookstores highlight poetry through special events and readings. National Poetry Month also encourages teachers to introduce poetry into their classrooms and to encourage poetry reading among students.

Manatee Libraries holds a great variety of poetry literature for people of all ages (a search for “poetry” displays over 5000 results!). Formats include books, audiobooks, e-books and e-audiobooks, although at this time, we will focus on e-materials. The library contains many classic titles, such as “Beowulf” and “Paradise Lost” and authors including Gwendolyn Brooks, Homer, and Shakespeare. Particularly recommended for young adults is “Brown Girl Dreaming” by Jacqueline Woodson. These are poems about growing up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s during the Jim Crow era. Interested in poems written about Florida or about Floridian poets? Some notable online collections include “Beach Synchronization: Selected Poems” by Len Blanchard and “Sea Grapes and Sea Oats” by Jeffrey Jay Niehaus.

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