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National Poetry Month: Home

 

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Join the University Libraries in celebrating National Poetry Month this April, a tradition that began with the Academy of American Poets in 1996. 

This year’s celebration takes as inspiration the poem “In This Place (An American Lyric)” by Amanda Gorman. The poem emphasizes the power of poetry to write the future, even within struggle and oppression, and to express hope:

“There’s a poem in this place—

a poem in America

a poet in every American”

Alongside National Poetry Month, we will continue to celebrate the writers and themes of the 2021-2022 Buffs One Read, American Like Me. See our display from April 1-15 in Norlin Library to check out poetry books with themes of cultural identity and belonging, as well as living within multiple cultures in America.

Community members visited Norlin Library on April 12th, 2022 and April 13th, 2022 from 1:00-3:00 to create poetry in community, engage with librarians and receive a pocket poem to carry throughout the day. Read the completed collaborative poem here.

 


Poetry on Display

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.

Duende

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).

Citizen

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.