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National Poetry Month: Home


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Join the University Libraries in celebrating National Poetry Month this April!

This year’s celebration takes as inspiration the poem "The Carrying" by Ada Limón, and its final line:

“...we were all meant for something.”

Community members were invited to visit the East Entrance of Norlin Library on April 5th, 2023 and April 6th, 2023 to create poetry in community, engage with librarians and receive a pocket poem to carry throughout the day. The final collaborative poem can be found on the "Community Poem 2023" tab.


Painting of a field with a farm in the background

Recommended books of poetry

The Hurting Kind

An astonishing collection about interconnectedness--between the human and nonhuman, ancestors and ourselves--from National Book Critics Circle Award winner, National Book Award finalist and U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón.

The Hill We Climb

On January 20, 2021, Amanda Gorman became the sixth and youngest poet to deliver a poetry reading at a presidential inauguration. Taking the stage after the 46th president of the United States, Joe Biden, Gorman captivated the nation and brought hope to viewers around the globe with her call for unity and healing.


Tracy K. Smith's bold second poetry collection explores history and the intersections of folk traditions, political resistance, and personal survival. Duende gives passionate testament to suppressed cultures, and allows them to sing.

American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin

In seventy poems bearing the same title, Terrance Hayes explores the meanings of American, of assassin, and of love in the sonnet form.

Words under the Words

The poems in the last third of this book focus directly on Nye's Palestinian American heritage, as the poet tours the Mideast, inquisitive and frustrated. Drawn from three previous collections, this selection coincides with the publication of Red Suitcase, a volume of new work (BOA Editions, 1994).


Claudia Rankine's bold book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person's ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named "post-race" society.

Dear Jenny We Are All Find

Jenny Zhang's poems broadcast themselves with a surrealist anxiety. 'Can't I be my own dream?' she asks. The answer is always yes and always no. With dizzying energy and intelligence, Zhang forages through familial, global, and even anatomical configurations vainly outlining an identity that manifests only to shift and move restlessly on.

Words Like Love

In her debut collection, poet Tanaya Winder sings the joys, glories, and laments of love. Love is defined by familial, cultural, platonic, and romantic bonds in these emotional and thoughtfully rendered poems. Her voice traverses the darkness in a quest to learn more about the most complex of subjects.

Recommended poetry databases

Literature Online Core (LION Core)

Collection of English and American poetry, drama, and literature, with criticism. From Old English to current literary works.

Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature

Literary and dramatic criticism published since 1920.

Columbia Granger's World of Poetry

Database of poems organized by subject and searchable multiple ways, with citations to poems in common anthologies.