national poetry month kidlitosphere events

Looking for some cool ways to celebrate National Poetry Month during April? Check out for all kinds of great resources for teachers, students, librarians and poetry lovers of all ages. There’s a Spring Book List, information about Poem in Your Pocket Day (April 26th),  “30 Ways to Celebrate Poetry Month,” and a Calendar of Events taking place around the country.

Here’s a list of what some of the kidlit bloggers are doing. If you’re also planning something special for April, or know of anyone else who is, please mention it in the comments so I can add it here. Thanks!

2012 Kidlitosphere Poetry Month Events

Greg Pincus is once again hosting his wonderful 30 Poets/30 Days at GottaBook. He’ll be posting a previously unpublished poem by a different children’s poet every day of the month. You can visit his blog, have the poems sent to you via email, or follow his Twitter feed for daily links.

 Irene Latham at Live Your Poem is trying something new this year — the 2012 Kidlit Progressive Poem. This will be a community writing project, with a poem traveling from blog to blog, each poet adding one line, until the finished poem is posted on April 30th. Irene will kick things off on April 1st. Check the schedule here to see who’s participating and when. There may be a few dates still open if you’d like to join the fun!

♥ Laura Shovan at Author Amok, who does a different poetry project every year, is featuring, “30+ Habits of  Highly Effective Poets.”  This is open to anyone who’d like to describe their writing habits in 500 words or less. Poems may be included. Can’t wait to see if anyone has any weird or quirky writing rituals :).

Tabatha is executing another of her brilliant ideas at The Opposite of Indifference: Fictional Favorites! Ever wonder what fictional characters’ favorite poems/poets might be? Her first post in this series features Hagrid, Calvin and Hobbes, and the main characters from A Wrinkle in Time. Bloggers are invited to submit their suggestions, selecting characters from books, movies, television programs, etc. Look for Fictional Favorites every Friday from now until the end of April, with additional posts Tuesday and Wednesday for the final week.

♥ Mary Lee at A Year of Reading will once again write a new poem every day during April. Those of you familiar with what’s she done in past years know we’re all in for another fabulous feast of awesomeness. How does she do it? ☺

♥ Linda Baie at Teacher Dance will continue an ongoing project of writing poems about different ways of looking at children growing up, essentially saying goodbye to each stage.

♥ Elaine Magliaro at Wild Rose Reader invites everyone to write an animal mask poem — send it to her and she’ll post it sometime during April. As in previous years, she’ll also be giving away poetry books every week. Check her schedule here.

♥ Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe will be exploring poems in the voices of inanimate objects — poems she’s written herself and by others. She’ll also feature several guest poets later in the month.

♥ Travis at 100 Scope Notes is once again inviting anyone (teachers, students, librarians, poetry lovers, people who like stacking things) to submit their Book Spine Poems. He’ll post a gallery of all the entries he receives on April 2nd, and will add to it all month long. Start scanning your shelves for interesting titles and charge up your camera. More details here.

 Susan Taylor Brown will be featuring, “Kick the Poetry Can’ts: Fun Ways to Play with Poetry.” She will share the various ways she teaches poetry, demonstrating exercises and inviting readers to play along. Follow all the fun at

♥ Jone at Check it Out is doing her fourth annual Poetry Postcard Project. If you’d like to receive a poem from one of her kindergarten or third grade students during the month of April, send her an email. I still cherish the postcard I received one year. A very sweet idea to receive a poem by post, especially these days, when good snail mail is a rare thing.

♥ Liz Garton Scanlon will be writing a haiku a day all during April. I really enjoyed her poems from previous poetry months, and can’t wait to see what she’ll share this year. Check in with her daily at Liz in Ink.

♥ Laura Purdie Salas at Writing the World for Kids is also writing a haiku each day. She’ll also explore senryu, which is a similar short form focusing on human foibles rather than nature/seasons.

♥ And don’t miss Sara Lewis Holmes at Read Write Believe for even more haiku! It’s lovely to experience these quick moments of beauty and insight day by day.

♥ Over at the Poem Farm, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater will be taking a Dictionary Hike! Inspired by Billy Collins’, “The Lanyard,” and Ed DeCaria’s March Madness, she’ll be writing a poem each day during April inspired by a word chosen at random from the dictionary beginning with each letter of the alphabet. *swoon* Amy will also be cataloging the nearly 500 poems at her blog to make them more accessible and user friendly.

Speaking of the alphabet (yay!), Rena Traxel is hosting an A-Z Poetry Challenge at On the Way to Somewhere. She says, “Starting with the letter ‘A’ on April 1, 2012, write a poem based on that day’s lesson and challenge. There are 26 letters in the alphabet so you will create 26 poems in the month of April. Take Sundays off to revise (except for Sunday, April 1). If you have kids get them involved.” This challenge is open to everyone and will be topped off with a contest the first week of May. Click here to get all the details. Sign up deadline is April 1st.

Donna at Mainely Write is combining the A-Z Blogging Challenge with her pledge to write a poem every day during April — and she’s creating cool Tagxedos for every poem!

♥ Renee LaTulippe over at No Water River has invited ten notable poets to film videos of themselves reading one of their own poems. Videos and written interviews for each poet will be posted every Monday and Friday during April. The participating poets are:

  • Michael J. Rosen (UK Children’s Poet Laureate 2007-09)
  • Laura Purdie Salas
  • Lee Wardlaw
  • Kenn Nesbitt
  • Julie Larios
  • Greg Pincus
  • Irene Latham
  • Debbie Diesen
  • J. Patrick Lewis (current U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate)
  • Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

If you’ve never seen any of Renee’s video/interviews before, you’re in for a real treat. Top notch stuff!

♥ The indefatigable Katie Davis is gearing up for a big Poetry Month celebration at her site, which will include guest posts by a slew of awesome poets, as well as poetry podcasts for her popular show Brain Burps About Books.  Poets will discuss different aspects of writing and teaching poetry, how to sell your poems, thoughts about ebooks, promoting yourself as a poet, book recommendations, etc. There will also be videos of poets reading their favorite poems. So far, her guest list includes:

  • Alan Katz
  • Renee LaTulippe
  • Jane Yolen
  • Gail Carson Levine
  • Leslea Newman
  • Lee Wardlaw
  • Laura Purdie Salas
  • Ed DeCaria
  • Anastasia Suen
  • Betsy Franco
  • Charles Ghigna
  • Michael J. Rosen
  • Irene Latham
  • Douglas Florian
  • Susan Blackaby
  • Rebecca Kai Dotlich
  • Bobbi Katz
  • Susan Taylor Brown

Click here for more details!

♥ Author and teacher Anastasia Suen invites poets of all ages to share an original “STEM haiku,” a haiku about a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics) topic at the STEM Friday blog.

 Don’t miss the 5Q Poet Interview Series over at Sylvia Vardell’s Poetry for Children. Every day during April, one of Sylvia’s graduate students will interview a poet with a new book published in 2012. Complete schedule is here.

♥ Ruff ruff! April Halprin Wayland is going to the dogs! Yip! She’ll be doing her annual Poem-A-Day Challenge, but this year it’ll be all about the dog park! Poetic pups and metaphoric mutts. Should be fun. Roll over there, sit, and stay!☺

♥ Kelly R. Fineman will be posting a poem a day at Writing and Ruminating, each related to a favorite line from Jane Austen’s works (novels, letters, juvenilia).

Tanita S. Davis will be trying her hand at various poetic forms this month — haiku, pantoums, whatever strikes her fancy — all to the theme of plant life (gardening, growing, digging, sowing, reaping). Follow all the action at Fiction Instead of Lies.

♥ The ever industrious Teaching Authors are featuring a couple of mini celebrations this month. Check out the wonderful interview with Janet Wong where she shares a favorite writing exercise, and enter a special giveaway for 3 copies of Janet’s new book, The Declaration of Interdependence (deadline for entries is April 19th). There’s also a wonderful, not-to-be-missed guest post by award-winning poet and novelist Helen Frost, where she shares a favorite writing exercise called, “Poetry Sticks.”

And of course, here at Alphabet Soup, I’ll be hosting my 3rd Annual Poetry Potluck, where guest poets will share a poem and favorite recipe each week day throughout April. Guest List and information about the Giveaway and Door Prizes can be found here.

Looks like April is gonna ROCK! Read a poem, write a poem, share a poem (maybe eat a poem). Here’s this year’s official National Poetry Month poster designed by Chin-Yee Lai with an excerpt from Philip Levine’s, “Our Valley.”  You can request to have one sent to you for free or download a PDF here.

". . . wait on the wind, catch a scent of salt, call it our life."


Copyright © 2012 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

59 thoughts on “national poetry month kidlitosphere events

  1. Thanks for all this, Jama-so exciting to see all that’s happening. I am still trying to find a photo of my grandmother for you, but have been busy. I’ll look one more time today.


  2. Wonderful summary Jama – thank you! Exciting to have all these events to look forward to.


  3. Thanks, Jama — great to have this list in one place! So much to look forward to. It may take me all year to process them. Beautiful poster!


  4. Wow! What a lot of wonderful things are happening…and Jama, I adore your graphic for your potluck. It’s perfect! Over at The Poem Farm, I’ll be taking a Dictionary Hike. Inspired by Billy Collins’ “The Lanyard” and Ed DeCaria’s March Madness, throughout the month, I’ll write a children’s poem inspired by a word beginning with each letter of the alphabet, chosen at closed-eyes-dictionary-pointing-random! Too, I’ll be organizing the poems on The Poem Farm to make the whole place more user-friendly.


  5. Thank you for this wonderful list. I’d love to add my event, if possible.

    I’ve invited 9 notable poets to film videos of themselves reading one of their own poems. Videos and written interviews for each poet will be posted every Monday and Friday during April. The participating poets are:

    Michael Rosen (UK Children’s Laureate 2007-2009)
    Laura Purdie Salas
    Lee Wardlaw
    Kenn Nesbitt
    Julie Larios
    Greg Pincus
    Irene Latham
    Debbie Diesen
    J. Patrick Lewis (current US Children’s Poet Laureate)

    Posts at my poetry video blog, No Water River:

    Thank you!


  6. Hi Jama! April already sounds luscious to me with all these poetry events happening in the blogosphere. So nice of you to put this all together. Bookmarking this so I can be reminded to pay visits to so many fabulous bloggers. 🙂


  7. Hi Jama,

    This is a great round up! I have one to add: Author and teacher Anastasia Suen invites poets of all ages to share an original “STEM haiku,” a haiku about a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Math) topic at the STEM Friday blog.



  8. I THINK I have it sorted out so I can finally use this account to comment though my real blog is elsewhere. Whew!


      1. Okay, being a pest and I don’t mean to be. You can add me to the list at Katie Davis’s site. I have an audio clip there.


  9. Howdy, Jama!

    Thanks for this terrific round-up–can’t wait to lift my spoon and sample it all!

    As usual, I’m posting a poem a day for the Poem-A-Day Challenge. This year they’re all dog park poems; the dog park has become my new religion:

    And here comes the commercial (sorry!)…in honor of Poetry Month, we’ve just e-published TO RABBITOWN, the first picture book I ever had published (by Scholastic). It’s a free-verse fantasy (illustrated by Robin Spowart) about a child who runs away to live with rabbits and slowly turns into one. To Rabbittown is available on Kindle and Nook (cheap!)


    1. Dog poems! Throw me a bone; I can’t wait, April. And congrats on the ebook. How wonderful to recycle those rabbits! Hooray for born again bunnies :).


  10. Jama,

    Thanks so much for compiling this list of Poetry Month events for us! I usually post a list of poetry resources in late March/early April–but I don’t have as much time for blogging as I did before I became a grandma. Still, the time I spend with my darling little Julia is like poetry to me.

    Happy National Poetry Month!!!!!


    1. Happy Poetry Month, Elaine!

      I agree — precious time spent with Julia is indeed a special kind of poetry. 🙂 I’m sure she’s already inspired you to write some poems about her . . .


  11. I am posting an original poem a day on the A to Z Challenge to combine the two challenges into one…and including a tagxedo to go with each poem. Hope you can drop by for a read or twi!
    Donna at


  12. Wow! What a list! Definitely bookmarking this. Thank you so much for sharing all of these great April poetry events with us.


  13. Terrific round-up, Jama. We don’t have any one activity going on at our TeachingAuthors blog, but we do have several mini-celebrations in honor or National Poetry Month. Last Friday, my co-blogger April Halprin Wayland posted an interview with Janet Wong, and she’s having contest where THREE lucky readers will win copies of Janet’s Declaration of Interdependence:
    Poems for an Election Year:
    And today I shared a guest blog post by award-winning poet Helen Frost in which she shares her poem, “Friend.”


  14. It simply is quite unfair, to discover this site today
    When 24 days of April have already wasted away
    Why didn’t I find it earlier? For it’s poetry that I adore!
    I have found it now so I ‘ll keep it and visit it for evermore.

    Thanks for the fantastic links and resources!!


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