2015 National Poetry Month Kidlitosphere Events Roundup

Happy April and Happy National Poetry Month!


Did you know that National Poetry Month is “the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K-12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, bloggers, and, of course, poets marking poetry’s important place in our culture and our lives every April”?

Visit poets.org for the full scoop on how you can participate, including 30 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month, Poem in Your Pocket Day (April 30, 2015), Poem-a-Day, and especially for students and teachers, the Dear Poet Project. Check the state-by-state listings to find poetry-related events near you. And there’s still time to order your free Poetry Month poster (especially cool this year)!

Now, here’s a list of what some kidlit bloggers are doing. If you’re also celebrating Poetry Month with a special project or blog event, or know of anyone else who is, please email me: readermail (at) jamakimrattigan (dot) com, so I can add the information to this Roundup. Thanks!

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Irene Latham at Live Your Poem has recruited 30 poets for her fourth annual Kidlit Progressive Poem. This is a wonderful community writing project where a poem travels daily from blog to blog, with each host adding a new line. Here’s the full schedule of participating bloggers:

1 Jone at Check it Out

2 Joy at Poetry for Kids Joy

3 Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe

4 Laura at Writing the World for Kids

5 Charles at Poetry Time Blog

6 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page

7 Catherine at Catherine Johnson

8 Irene at Live Your Poem

9 Mary Lee at Poetrepository

10 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty

11 Kim at Flukeprints

12 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche

13 Doraine at DoriReads

14 Renee at No Water River

15 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge

16 Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town

17 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog

18 Sheila at Sheila Renfro

19 Linda at Teacher Dance

20 Penny at A Penny and her Jots

21 Tara at A Teaching Life

22 Pat at Writer on a Horse

23 Tamera at The Writer’s Whimsy

24 Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect

25 Tabatha at The Opposite of indifference

26 Brian at Walk the Walk

27 Jan at Bookseedstudio

28 Amy at The Poem Farm

29 Donna at Mainely Write

30 Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme


Irene’s personal poetry project at Live Your Poem is ARTSPEAK! She’ll be writing daily poems inspired by the online collections of the National Gallery of Art, focusing on dialog, conversations, asking, what does the piece say?


At Author Amok, Laura Shovan is hosting “What Are You Wearing?” — a full month featuring poetry about clothes. On Mondays and Wednesdays, look for guest bloggers, who’ll share a favorite clothing-related poem with a paragraph or two of introduction. On Fridays Laura will post a roundup of original clothes poems (send her yours via email: laurashovan (at) gmail (dot) com). Don’t miss this literary fashion show!


Strap yourselves in your seats and get ready for an emotional roller coaster at A Year of Reading! Mary Lee Hahn’s project is called PO-EMotions. She will be writing a poem each day that evokes an emotion or uses an emotion word in the title or body of the poem. She’s inviting everyone to play along by either posting poems in the comments or at their own blogs. Check out this list of the 30 Emotions she’ll be writing about (she’ll also be cross-posting at her personal poetry blog, Poetrepository).


Jone MacCulloch will be sharing student poetry daily at Check It Out. She’s also once again doing her annual Poetry Postcard Project, where Silver Star ES students send out illustrated poetry postcards to anyone requesting them. Sign up HERE if you’d like to receive one. This is a wonderful project — seven years running so far — I always enjoy receiving my postcard each April.

At Deo Writer, Jone is hosting her first month-long writing challenge. She’ll be playing with poems that have something to do with nature and double “ll’s,” (like in her last name). She invites everyone to join her — here’s the list of words she’ll be using as prompts.


Diane Mayr at Random Noodling presents Ekphrastic Mondays! Beginning April 6, she will post an original poem inspired by a work of art. So that’s four Mondays, four pairings. It’s like getting a two-course meal each week: literary + visual. 🙂


At Today’s Little Ditty, Michelle Heindenrich Barnes is spotlighting 2015 Newbery Medal Winner Kwame Alexander as her Ditty of the Month Club special guest! She’s kicking things off with an awesome interview, giveaway, and an invitation to write a poem (or poems) this month in response to Kwame’s ditty challenge. She’ll post poems on the blog as they come in all month long, and then feature them all in a wrap-up post at the end of the month. Send your poems to: TodaysLittleDitty (at) gmail (dot) com.


Over at Poetry for Children, Sylvia Vardell is celebrating the just released Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations (Pomelo Books, 2015) by featuring short videos of children reading some of the poems from the book. This is the fourth title in the wonderful series Sylvia created and compiled with fellow poetry goddess Janet Wong, and not only does it include poems for 156 celebrations in both English and Spanish (World Laughter Day, National Camping Day, Hand Washing Day), there is a Teacher/Librarian Edition as well as a Student/Children’s Edition. The T/L Edition also contains great Tips, Guidelines and Lists to help adults select and share poems with kids.

Over at The Poem Farm, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is playing a game called Sing That Poem! Each day she’ll post a new original poem with the meter of a well-known song. Folks can print a PDF and try to match each day’s poem with the song it was inspired by. She’ll also post a recording each next day with the answer. Her goal in this project is to stretch her writing muscles into new meters.


Linda Baie at TeacherDance will be doing a lot of writing this month. In addition to participating in the Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem, Mary Lee Hahn’s Po-EMotions Challenge, and Laura Shovan’s What Are You Wearing Challenge, she’s going to challenge herself to write a haiku or other related form every day. Check in with her at her blog to cheer her on!


April Halprin Wayland and her trusty canine muse Eli will be feeding us a PPP (previously published poem) every day all month long. This tasty smorgasbord will be culled from various books, magazines and anthologies and promises to be a real treat! Check in at the blog for your daily April fix.


Over at The Miss Rumphius Effect, Tricia Stohr-Hunt will be focusing on poetic forms: “I want to shine a spotlight on forms other than strictly rhyming (though rhyme is perfectly fine) for the elementary and middle school classroom. I love rhyme just as much as the next person, but I worry that much of the poetry parents select for kids and teachers select for classrooms is chosen simply because it rhymes. And I don’t want the merit or “goodness” of poetry judged simply on this trait. Kids need to be exposed to poets old (classic) and new, poems funny and serious, in the glorious range that exists. Poetry for kids can be smart and challenging and I want to highlight this aspect. In addition to focusing on forms, I’ll also be sharing the thoughts of selected poets.”


Liz Steinglass will also be writing a poem every day this month. Her theme this year is items hiding in or on a desk. Hmmm, wonder if there are any bears on her desk? Or food? Should be interesting. 🙂 Check in with her daily to find out!


Laura Purdie Salas will be sharing tips on presenting poetry to students at Writing the World for Kids. She’ll also include a poem that is relevant to each daily tip.


Serena at Savvy Verse and Wit is hosting a National Poetry Month Celebration and Blog Tour. This year’s theme is “The Search for New Perspective.” She says, I’d love to have guests talk about how poetry changed their perspective about something, even if it is just one poem, or how you think poetry can change perspective to not only reach more readers but leave a lasting impression.” Add your blog post URLs to her link-up any time during April and check out what other bloggers are contributing!


Rhyming picture book lovers, don’t miss Angie Karcher’s 2015 Rhyming Picture Book Month (RhyPiBoMo)! This  is a month-long writing challenge for children’s writers aspiring to write rhyming picture books, poetry, and to add poetic techniques to their prose. The roster of fabuloso guest bloggers includes Nikki Grimes, Marilyn Singer, Iza Trapani, Kwame Alexander, J. Patrick Lewis, Ann Whitford Paul and Janet Wong. Angie is awarding daily prizes, and there’s also a Poetry Contest! You must register to be eligible for prizes and to enter the Poetry Contest (deadline: April 8, 2015). Check out the Guest Blogger Schedule here.


As is her annual Poetry Month practice, Liz Garton Scanlon will be writing a haiku every day this month. She’ll be posting her haiku with a photo and sharing on Twitter, Facebook, and at her LiveJournal blog, Liz in Ink. She’s inviting everyone to join her — post yours via social media, at your own blog or in a private journal.

Check in every Friday at A Penny and Her Jots for more great episodes of A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt! Penny Parker Klostermann and her great-nephew Brandon began collaborating last Fall — she writes a poem and he illustrates it. They’ve had so much with this series that they’ve invited others to join them. Look for another Penny and Brandon episode on April 10 and special guests on the other Fridays.


At Beyond LiteracyLink, Carol Varsalona will be featuring her own “Poetry Parade”: poems and posts written in response to several Poetry Month Challenges, including Jone MacCulloch’s “Double LL” Challenge and another located at #digipoetry on Twitter, organized by Margaret Simon. Her eagerly anticipated “Winter Whisperings: A Gallery of Artistic Expressions,” featuring poem-image pairings submitted by poets from around the country, Canada, Europe and beyond, has been unveiled and can be viewed here. The featured verse form is the zeno, invented by former Children’s Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis.


Check in with Tanita S. Davis for a haiku each day. This month she’s thinking about “innocence and grace and wobbly starts and losses and gains.” The meditative, centering aspects of writing haiku, of distillation, is a wonderful way to achieve a degree of clarity.


Donna at Mainely Write is once again writing a poem each day for the A to Z Challenge. Her theme this year will be signs she has photographed. This will be her fourth straight year writing poems for this challenge.


Here at Alphabet Soup, where we celebrate poetry year round with our weekly Friday Feasts, we’ll be featuring some very cool newly published poetry picture books. And just for you (because we like to call ’em as we see ’em), we’re serving up a little extra treat: HotTEAs of Children’s Poetry. That’s right!  These dudes are not only fair of face, but know just how to spark the poetic fire of enthusiasm and inspiration. They sip their cuppas with the best of them and their laptops are always smokin’! Fair Warning: best to keep your oven mitts handy. 🙂


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


I’ll continue to update this Roundup throughout April, so do check back! For your convenience, a link to this Roundup can be found in the sidebar of this blog (click 2015 Poetry Month image). 

Wishing you a thoroughly nourishing, inspiring, productive, interesting, and enlightening Poetry Month!


Copyright © 2015 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

56 thoughts on “2015 National Poetry Month Kidlitosphere Events Roundup

    1. I have a soft spot for Stevenson because of his Hawaii association. Will keep him in mind for future HotTEAs. The HotTEAs I’ll be featuring this month are poets still very much alive and kicking in the kidlit world. 🙂


  1. Jama — thank you so much for compiling this list. What a great resource. FYI — Melanie at Savvy Verse & Wit also has a listing of general NPM projects.


  2. Appreciations for setting the table for this gi-normous buffet of poems & poem-talking, hostess with mostess, Jama.
    Will Corneilus bear with me if I’m a litty bitty piggy & go ’round for seconds & thirdsies & mebe fourths?
    Washing up my handmade (by our post-colege daughter) pottery-wheel teacup with the heart on the bottom, for my serving of HotTeas of Children’s poetry days.
    Anticipating much Yum!


    1. LOL — Cornelius said since it’s poetry month, you can have seconds and thirds and fourths! Glad you’re getting your tea mug ready (I love hearts) for this month’s serving of HotTEAs. In addition to your oven mitts, have something handy you can fan yourself with :D.


  3. There is SO much poetry. I love it. And I love the new button for National Poetry Month. I wish I could just stay home and write.


  4. I’m raising a cuppa to you, Jama, for all the heavy lifting and table-setting you’re doing this month! There will “bear-ly” be any time to SLEEP if we click on each of these portals–wow!

    Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you ❤


  5. Jama, you are amazing with your round up. Can you please add this to your piece or maybe at another time so everyone will know? Winter Whisperings: Gallery of Artistic Expressions will be unveiled soon. So many people have been asking me when. In addition, I am participating in several poetry challenges all under the title of “Poetry Parade” that can be found on my blog site, Beyond LiteracyLink. My first post for Poetry Parade is up tonight while I am designing the gallery. Thank you.


  6. Happy Poetry Month 2015 & in celebration I’ll leave this poem

    Homage To Life ~ Jules Supervielle

    It’s good to have chosen
    A living home
    And housed time
    In a ceaseless heart
    And seen my hands
    Alight on the world,
    As on an apple
    In a little garden,
    To have loved the earth,
    The moon and the sun
    Like old friends
    Who have no equals,
    And to have committed
    The world to memory
    Like a bright horseman
    To his black steed,
    To have given a face
    To these words — woman, children,
    And to have been a shore
    For the wandering continents
    And to have come upon the soul
    With tiny strokes of the oars,
    For it is scared away
    By a brusque approach.
    It is beautiful to have known
    The shade under the leaves,
    And to have felt age
    Creep over the naked body,
    And have accompanied pain
    Of black blood in our veins,
    And gilded its silence
    With the star, Patience,
    And to have all these words
    Moving around in the head,
    To choose the least beautiful of them
    And let them have a ball,
    To have felt life,
    Hurried and ill loved,
    And locked it up
    In this poetry.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jama, you honor me by posting my Poetry Parade information and the Winter Whisperings Gallery that is ready to be unveiled. Here is the secret: I am featuring J. Patrick Lewis’ poetic form, the zeno with a two for one special. He wrote two zenos in one poem accompanied by Georgia O’Keefe’s Above the Clouds I.


  8. Fabulous post! I do something similar, but on a much smaller scale than yours for National Poetry Month every year. I really enjoyed discovering all of the new-to-me blogs (and a couple of familiar ones.) I found your post through Savvy Verse & Wit’s Blog Tour.


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