national poetry month kidlitosphere events

poetry month 2013 logo

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.

This year, the Academy of American Poets is celebrating the role that correspondence has played in poets’ development and writing lives. In the spirit of Rainer Maria Rilke‘s Letters to a Young Poet, in which Rilke replies to letters from a young military cadet and aspiring poet asking for his advice, they are inviting students to engage with poetry by handwriting letters to some of the poets who serve on the Academy’s Board of Chancellors. Find out more about the Dear Poet Project here.

You can also find a Spring Book List, information about Poem in Your Pocket Day (April 18th), “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 or email me: readermail (at) jamakimrattigan (dot) com, so I can add it here. Thanks!

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30poets30Days_2013For the 5th consecutive year, Greg Pincus will be hosting 30 Poets/30 Days at GottaBook. Look for an original, previously unpublished poem by a different children’s poet every day of the month.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.

progressive poem badgeIrene Latham at Live Your Poem has recruited 30 poets for her second annual Kidlit Progressive Poem. This is a wonderful community writing project where each day the poem travels from blog to blog, with the poet host adding a line. Amy Ludwig VanDerwater will kick things off on April 1 at The Poem Farm (click above link for full schedule).

 Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect is presenting Poetry A-Z. For the first 26 days of the month she’ll be highlighting poetic forms, specific poems, books of poetry, and poets according to letter. For the last 4 days she’s created a set of “acrostic” themed posts with some additional thoughts on poetry.

♥ Jone at Check It Out is doing her annual Poetry Postcard Project. Her students will be sending out illustrated poetry postcards to anyone requesting them. I’ve done this twice and really enjoyed receiving a surprise poem in the mail. She’ll also be posting student poetry every day during April at her blog. Click here to sign up to receive a postcard if you haven’t already done so.

The always adventurous Laura Shovan is featuring “Welcome to the Technoverse” at Author Amok, a series of guest posts about tech-savvy poetry (writing support programs, poetry apps, inspiring websites, savvy poetry list-servs or blogs, etc.). Learn about some new resources to help jump start your poetry!

Laura Purdie Salas will share Poem Starter videos all month long at Writing the World for Kids. These short videos, featuring many poems/poets from the Kidlitosphere, are geared for teachers to use with their elementary school students.

30daisiesHeidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe has thought of another community writing project idea: 30 Days 30 Words. She will post a single beginning word on April 1, and invite readers to leave suggestions for the next word of the poem in the comments. On April 2 she will post the first word + her choice of the second word, and again readers leave ideas for the 3rd word of the poem. On April 3, she will post what has become a three-word cumulative, collaborative poem, and again wait for suggestions for the 4th word — and so on, until an entire 30-word poem emerges by the end of the month. Sounds fun, no?

mary lee logoGet ready to write in response to some cool media poetry prompts courtesy of Mary Lee at A Year of Reading. With “Common Inspiration-Uncommon Creations,” she will offer new inspiration every day along with teaching ideas and drafts of poems she’s completed in response to the prompts — maybe even share a finished poem or two or three!

♥ We’ll get more insight into how Amy Ludwig VanDerwater “grows poems” at The Poem Farm with her interesting project, Drawing into Poems. Each day of the month, she’s going to slow down, look closely at something, draw it, and take notes around her drawing. She’ll photograph and share the drawing and notes each day. From time to time, mostly on Fridays, she’ll share a poem inspired by her drawings and notes. The purpose of this project is to help her see more clearly and to help her linger on images.

♥ Look for a poetry-related post every day at Linda Baie’s TeacherDance — original poems, reviews of poetry books and other musings. Linda will also be participating in the Kidlit Progressive Poem (April 10) as well as other online PM events.

Matt Forrest Esenwine will post original poems every Friday and news and information about poetry on Tuesdays throughout April at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme. He writes some really good stuff, so don’t miss any of his posts!

♥ It’s not too late to submit a book spine poem to 100 Scope Notes. Travis Jonker continues his annual tradition of collecting and posting all submissions throughout April. Check out this post for tips and samples of book spine centos.

Tamera Will Wissinger has a busy month planned. Each week she’ll be featuring a different poetic form on her blog, and on April 18, will post a feature article for Verse Daily. Check out this post for her complete schedule, which includes appearances at other blogs, including GottaBook, Caroline by line and Society of Young Inklings.

♥ Get set for a full month of fabulous guest posts at Caroline Starr Rose’s blog, Caroline by line. She has invited poets, authors, readers and teachers to discuss their experiences with poetry. Jennifer Gennari will kick things off on April 3 with, “Opening the Heart of Characters Through Poetry.” Other guest bloggers include Lee Wardlaw, Paul Janeczko, Roseanne Parry, Jessica Bell, and Augusta Scattergood. Caroline will post the full schedule on Tuesday, April 2, and there’ll also be a very cool giveaway!

Sylvia Vardell will be featuring “Blasts from the Poetry Past” at Poetry for Children. These daily snippets will look backward at the history of poetry for young people. Over at the Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School blog, she’s featuring poem movies: homemade digital films that offer artistic interpretations of several of the poems in The Poetry Friday Anthology (6-8). These short, original, one-minute mini-movies were created by grad students enrolled in Sylvia’s “Poetry for Children and Young Adults” class at Texas Woman’s University.

Diane Mayr at Random Noodling will be going artsy for Poetry Month, posting an ekphrastic poem every Monday during April. (Ekphrastic poems comment upon other art forms — for example, a poem about a painting or a photograph.)

♥ Hopeless romantics, do not miss Kelly Ramsdell Fineman’s salute to sonnets this month at Writing and Ruminating. That’s right — she’ll be posting a different sonnet each and every day, with brilliant commentary and insightful analysis — lots of opportunity for unabashed swooning and improving your understanding of all that is beautiful, fascinating and fabulous about the 14-line form. She kicked things off on April 1 with Wordsworth’s “Scorn Not the Sonnet.”

♥ Amy at Mrs. Merrill’s Book Break is celebrating Poetry Month by sharing photos, poems, and poetry-love tidbits from both her school and personal poetry life.

♥ Happy to report that Elaine Magliaro is posting once again at Wild Rose Reader. She’ll continue her Poetry Month tradition of giving away a different children’s poetry book each week, so be sure to drop by often and leave your comments to be eligible for the prizes!

♥ Our tireless poetry video queen Renée LaTulippe has lined up an impressive guest roster at No Water River. I’m really looking forward to seeing videos and Snickerviews™  with the likes of these incredibly talented poets:

George Ella Lyon
Michael Salinger
Heidi Bee Roemer
David L. Harrison
Joy Acey
Ted Scheu
Leslie Bulion
Heidi Mordhorst
Julie Larios
Janet Wong
Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
Kate Coombs
Joyce Sidman
Lee Bennett Hopkins


♥ The indefatigable April Halprin Wayland will once again write a poem every day for the entire month. This will be her fourth year undertaking this Poem-A-Day challenge, for which she’s already written over 1,000 poems. Check her site daily for a new canine-related poem and a writing prompt. April’s poems in April — what could be nicer?

BEST Eli reading 1-27-13 (5)
The very literate Eli — April’s muse?

Catherine Johnson is also taking the Poem-a-Day plunge. She’ll be posting some holiday pics as prompts. This way, we’ll get to learn about her travels as well as see how she crystallizes those experiences in poetic form. 🙂

Joy Acey is certainly no stranger to writing poems every single day; come April 20, she’ll be celebrating her second anniversary of doing just that (so far having completed over 700 poems!) at Poetry for Kids Joy. She’ll continue to post daily poems for children throughout April, in addition to offering challenges and discussing more poetry forms.

Anastasia Suen has just started a new poetry blog! She’ll be posting a poem every day during April and beyond. She’s just posted her inaugural poem, “Spring Cleaning.”

Margaret at Reflections on the Teche has a very busy month planned. With her students, she’ll be writing a poem every day using a different poetic form for each letter of the alphabet. They plan to try ghazals, pantoums, ekphrasis and sonnets for a start.

♥ Andi Sibley at A Wrung Sponge will be making daily rounds of poetry blogs and commenting as often as possible in addition to posting daily haiku with photos on Twitter. Follow her – @AndiSibley, and use hashtags #npm or #haiku.

♥ Susan Taylor Brown  has chosen to work on a Mentor Project. Each day during April, she’ll select a poem, then model her poem after it. She kicked things off on April 1 with her version of William Carlos Williams’s, “This is Just to Say.” This is a good exercise for those intimidated by writing their own poems, and she encourages everyone to join her!

♥ Liz Garton Scanlon is continuing with her lovely practice of posting a haiku (with photos!) every day during Poetry Month. Follow along on her LiveJournal blog Liz in Ink, Facebook or Twitter. She’s invited readers to write their own haiku in the comments and promises prizes at the end of April.

♥ The inimitable Tanita S. Davis is serving up mostly haiku at her blog during April with thoughtful commentary that reveals her inspiration and provides a context for her verse. A good glimpse into how this poet’s mind works :).

♥ In the spirit of Ed DeCaria’s March Madness, Habitual Rhymer Lori Degman plans to write poems based on random words suggested by her Facebook friends. Thus far: supercalifragilisticexpealidocious, lackadaisical and superlative. Tough crowd!

A2Z-2013-BADGE-001Small_zps669396f9Donna at Mainely Write will be writing a poem or more a day as part of the A-Z Challenge. Her theme this year is lobster boats (with photos)!

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♥ Finally, don’t forget to check in with the April Poetry Friday hosts to see what other bloggers are sharing:

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♥ ♥ I’ll continue to update this Roundup all during April, so do check back! Remember, as you’re cruising around the web, you can always check in at Kidlitosphere Central for Poetry Month news and updates.

This year’s official Poetry Month poster is such a beauty. It was created by Jessica Helfand, and features the line, “Write about your sorrows, your wishes, your passing thoughts, your belief in anything beautiful,” from Rainer Maria Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet. Click here to order your free poster.



Copyright © 2013 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

37 thoughts on “national poetry month kidlitosphere events

  1. I will be participating in some of these above, and writing every day, something poetic, a poem, a review of a poetry book (digging into my collection of some oldies and some new ones). Thanks for all the links! I work with a teacher who has done a lot of letter writing with her students, so she will love the Dear Poet project. Thanks, Jama!


  2. Super roundup Jama! I’m re-blogging this to stay organised :0)

    I plan to put up some of my holiday pictures as poetry prompts. I may attempt a poem a day, we’ll see!


    1. LOL. I did this Roundup to keep ME organized. No excuse now to miss any of the good haps next month. I’ll add your poem-a-day/holiday pic prompt info to the post :).


  3. oh, my! What a delightful abundance. I’m in a tired state, but now I will perk up if not be too hoppy as I follow along this month. Thanks for comiling, Jama!


  4. Jama,
    Thanks for a great list of poetry resources.
    I will continue to post a poem-a-day during Poetry Month. Every day is a poetry day for me, a chance to celebrate and have a party. I’ll be discussing more poetry forms and offering up poetry challenges. April 20 is my 2 year anniversary. Can you believe it, I’ve posted over 715 new poems.
    I’m at

    I loved the recipe for apple crumble french toast! There goes my diet. Kenn Nesbitt had me off bread and I was losing weight, but this looks too good to miss.


    1. Whoop, changed my mind! I am so glad you are keeping the list on your blog! What I am going to do this year is make a daily round of all the bloggers posting poetry during the month and comment as often as possible. I am also writing daily haiku with photos on Twitter. Follow me @AndiSibley or with hashtags #haiku #npm. Let the poetry begin!


  5. Jama for President! If you were running this country, everything would be so well-organized; Colin Firth would bless every new law; and Mr. Cornelius would lead a group hug in Congress. Thank you for this round-up!!


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