National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month. First launched in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets, National Poetry Month celebrates the integral role that poets and poetry have played in our culture and throughout history.

There are many famous poems by American poets that you may be familiar with, like Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” or Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise”. British poets like John Keats and T.S. Eliot have captured the hearts and minds of many. You might even recall the poem read at President Joe Biden’s inauguration, “The Hill We Climb” by Amanda Gorman.

If you’re not sure where to start to celebrate National Poetry Month, we have a few suggestions!


  • Read!

Reading poetry helps widen your literary horizons and experience a new appreciation for poets, especially if you’ve never read much poetry before. You can sign up for emails from Poem-a-Day or check out the Poem of the Day from the Poetry Foundation website.  

You can also check out some great poetry collections from the Yonkers Public Library. And don’t forget to ask your local librarian for some suggestions.


  • Come to the library!

Join us in person at the Riverfront Library every Saturday in April for National Poetry Month Drop-In Events. Meet Golda and her poet/artist friends by stopping over at the second floor Children's Library from 1:00 to 4:00 PM. Each event will offer poem writing, poem drawing and poem readings.

The Crestwood Library hosts its Teen Tuesday program every Tuesday afternoon from 4:00 to 5:00 PM. This month’s theme is “The Earth is a Poem”, celebrating our planet, Earth Day and National Poetry Month!

Cooper the Therapy Dog will also be at Crestwood on Tuesday, April 11 at 4:00 PM to celebrate National Pet Day and poetry.

The Will Library is hosting a Poetry Night Open Mic from 5:00 to 6:00 PM on Wednesday, April 26. Registration is required. Share some classic poems or a few of your own. Limit of 5 minutes per reader.


  • Try writing some poetry of your own!

There are a few easy exercises to get you comfortable with some poetic techniques. Try creating a list of words with a theme like nature or food, or phrases that start with the same letter or rhyme together. Brainstorming like this can warm up your brain and create some interesting word combinations that you can use in a poem!

You could also try some simpler poem structures. Blackout poems are an interesting way to create poetry from existing words on a page. You can select a passage from a newspaper, magazine or an old book and black out words and phrases with a marker to create a whole new poem. You can also try writing haiku, a Japanese poem made up of three lines and seventeen syllables.

Alison Robles is a part-time page at the Crestwood Library. She is an avid reader with a passion for YA lit, historical fiction and fantasy. A Yonkers native, she graduated from Iona University in 2020 with a dual-degree in Marketing and Public Relations.

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