2019 National Poetry Month Kidlitosphere Events Roundup


Happy April and Happy National Poetry Month!

It’s time once again to read, write, share, and simply indulge your love for poetry in every way.

Need some ideas? 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 18, 2019), 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.

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 leave a comment here or email me: readermail (at) jamakimrattigan (dot) com, so I can add the information to this Roundup. Thanks, and have a beautiful, inspiring, uplifting, productive, and memorable April!


Hooray, it’s Progressive Poem time again! Irene Latham at Live Your Poem has recruited 30 poets for her eighth annual Kidlitosphere 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. Matt Forrest Esenwine will kick things off with the first line of this year’s children’s poem at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme on April 1. Here’s the full schedule of participating bloggers:


1 Matt @Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme

2 Kat @Kathryn Apel

3 Kimberly @KimberlyHutmacherWrites

4 Jone @DeoWriter

5 Linda @TeacherDance

6 Tara @Going to Walden

7 Ruth @thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown

8 Mary Lee @A Year of Reading

9 Rebecca @Rebecca Herzog

10 Janet F. @Live Your Poem

11 Dani @Doing the Work that Matters

12 Margaret @Reflections on the Teche

13 Doraine @Dori Reads

14 Christie @Wondering and Wandering

15 Robyn @Life on the Deckle Edge

16 Carol @Beyond LiteracyLink

17 Amy @The Poem Farm

18 Linda @A Word Edgewise

19 Heidi @my juicy little universe

20 Buffy @Buffy’s Blog

21 Michelle @Michelle Kogan

22 Catherine @Reading to the Core

23 Penny @a penny and her jots

24 Tabatha @The Opposite of Indifference

25 Jan @Bookseestudio

26 Linda @Write Time

27 Sheila @Sheila Renfro

28 Liz @Elizabeth Steinglass

29 Irene @Live Your Poem

30 Donna @Mainely Write



Irene Latham will also be continuing her personal NPM project, Artspeak!, (now in its 5th year), where she writes a poem a day in response to a piece of art. This year’s theme is “Happy” after her 2019 One Little Word. Look for short, happy poems for kids at Live Your Poem all month long.

To whet your appetite, here’s Irene’s introductory poem inspired by “The Sky Was Yellow” by Enrico Baj:

And, as an added bonus, Irene will be featuring poem videos too. Love!



Over at A Year of Reading, Mary Lee Hahn will be PLAYING WITH POETRY using Haikubes, Magnetic Poetry, Metaphor Dice, and Paint Chip Poetry. She’s inviting everyone to join her and write along (use the Twitter hashtag #playwithpoetryNPM to cheer each other on). Let the fun begin!



The “Classroom Connections” series at Today’s Little Ditty will be showcasing recent poetry books — eclectic collections, lyrical picture books, and engaging verse novels — and how they can be used as mentor texts in the classroom. Complete with author/editor interviews, exercises for teachers to use for elementary, middle, and high school students, and LOTS of giveaways! Michelle H. Barnes is your gracious host. 🙂

Here’s the schedule:



Along with the Literacy Council at her middle school, Linda Mitchell is organizing a brackets-style competition called Poetry Pandemonium. There are 16 poems and brackets. She says, “We will see which poem (that has recognizable language arts standards in it) wins the hearts and minds of my school. I will share bits from it in April.” Read this post to learn more details about the project at Linda’s blog A Word Edgewise.



Over at Wild Rose Reader, Elaine Magliaro will be giving away poetry books all month long! Look for such titles as You Just Wait: A Poetry Friday Power Book, Great Morning: Poems for Schools to Read Aloud (both compiled by Sylvia Vardell and Jane Wong), A Suitcase of Seaweed (signed by Janet Wong), as well as a signed copy of Elaine’s award winning poetry picture book, Things To Do (winner of the 2018 Margaret Wise Brown Prize for Children’s Literature and a 2018 Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Honor Award), and more!! Don’t miss out on all the goodies!



At Poetry for Children, Sylvia Vardell will be sharing poem videos created by her graduate students:



Diane Mayr will be featuring Ekphrastic April at Random Noodling. Each day she will post a work of art and a cherita inspired by it. This year she will include artists of both sexes. It’s always interesting to see how she responds to the art she selects!



Don’t forget to stop by The Opposite of Indifference, where Tabatha Yeatts and the Poetry Monster will be giving away FREE poetry printables!

Kicking things off is a pdf for Poetry in the Halls featuring poems by Linda Baie, Michelle Heidenrich Barnes, Robyn Hood Black, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Matt Forrest Esenwine, Charles Ghigna, Mary Lee Hahn, Michelle Kogan, Irene Latham, JoAnn Early Macken, Diane Mayr, O.V. Michaelsen, Heidi Mordhorst, Christina Rossetti, Masaoka Shiki, and Tabatha herself.

She’s encouraging everyone to post these in school hallways, libraries, or any other poetry-friendly places. What a great way to share the work of classic and contemporary poets and to inspire students to write their own. Yay for FREE STUFF!



From Carol Varsalona, this announcement:

On Monday, April 8th, #NYEDChat and #Wonderchat will combine to discuss “Creating a Positive School Culture with Poetry.” Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong, poets and publishers, will co-host the Twitter chat from 8:00-8:30 p.m. EST, so please mark your calendar!



At her blog Beyond Literacy Link, Carol Varsalona will celebrate all things poetic by writing poetic thoughts and curating the poetry of others. To bring digital awareness of poetry to social media, she will also devote April to unveiling her global galleries of artistic expressions, Abundant Autumn and Winter’s Embrace.




For her poem-a-day project, Linda Baie will draw ideas and inspiration from a favorite book, Important Words: A Book for Poets and Writers, by Bill Brown and Malcolm Glass. She had used this book in a classroom setting successfully in the past, and now wants to take a more personal approach, writing “the way it is,” as per William Stafford’s quote. Read her poems and cheer her on at TeacherDance!



If you’re a fan of picture book poetry, be sure to check in daily with Jena Benton at Of Tea and Mermaids. Since it’s one of my favorite genres, I can’t wait to see what she shares!




At The Poem Farm, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater will be telling a Poemstory:

“This year, I will write a month of poems that when read together, will tell a story.  And the story will be one I began to tell last week, about John and Betsy. All of the poems will have three things in common: each will be written in John’s voice, each will be 15 lines or shorter, and each will be written in free verse.”

Here is the poem from which this project grew:



Over at Reflections on the Teche, Margaret Simon will be Playing with Poetry along with Mary Lee Hahn. Can’t wait to see what she does with Paint Chips, Metaphor Dice, Haikubes, and Magnetic Poetry!



Jone MacCulloch will be sharing student poetry at Check it Out and also Playing with Poetry with Mary Lee and others at Deowriter.



Christie Wyman is also Playing with Poetry this month. In addition to haikubes, paint chips, metaphor dice, magnetic poetry, and paint chips, she’s even throwing in some nail polish colors for inspiration (how often do you see that in haiku?!). Read her poems each day at Wondering and Wandering.



Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe is freewheelin’ it this month by being her own “Random Thing Picker,” with the general intention to write a poem–any poem, any length, any form, any style, any topic–each day of the month.

For her NPM project, she chooses:

a) to be distracted by the burgeoning of spring or anything else that catches my attention, including 
    possibly the unexpected workings of my menobrain
b) to be suddenly struck by an idea I once had & which reappears with a pop (see again menobrain) 
    and usually an exclamation such as “OTTER POPS! They were called Otter Pops!”
c) to be less structured by a grand complicated plan and more able to go with a general intention

Should be fun to see what Random Thing she picks every day. 🙂



Don’t miss a daily stop at Michelle Kogan’s blog, where she’s writing poems inspired by art she creates or has created. A beautiful combination!



As part of the A to Z Challenge, Donna Smith will be writing poems from A to Z inspired by Maine vanity plates she’s spotted. This is her 8th year participating in this challenge and I love seeing the plates she finds. Follow the fun at Mainely Write.




(drop by, read, comment, cheer them on!)

1. Cheriee Weichel at Library Matters

2. Tanita S. Davis at Fiction (Instead of Lies)

3. Liz Garton Scanlon (Haiku-a-day)

4. Tricia Stohr-Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect

5. Glenda Funk at Evolving English Teacher





BTW, have you seen the 2019 National Poetry Month poster? This is the first time it features the work of a high school student: tenth grader Julia Wang from San Jose, California, won the inaugural NPM Poster Contest. It incorporates lines from the poem, “An Old Story” by current U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith. Click here to download the PDF and/or order your own copy!




Here at Alphabet Soup, we’ll continue to serve up tasty poems and reviews of new poetry books each Friday in April. We’ll be doing a couple of giveaways, too! 🙂




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

5     Karen at Karen Edmisten*
12   Irene at Live Your Poem
19  Amy at The Poem Farm
26  Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink


♥️ 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.

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

Copyright © 2019 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

27 thoughts on “2019 National Poetry Month Kidlitosphere Events Roundup

  1. Oh, Jama! Thank you so much for bringing everything together for all of us. I look forward to following these projects and to learning and growing throughout the month. Hi Cornelius, and Happy National Poetry Month! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Amy, I was just going to email you! Thanks for sending me your info. Your project sounds wonderful. You always think of such unique and fun things to do for NPM. Am looking forward to following your Poemstory!!


  2. Jama, I forgot to share what I am doing(mainly because I am tagging along with Mary Lee and playing with poetry at Deowriter). I am sharing some student work at Check It Out.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for these resources and inspiration. Poetry will take center stage in my classroom during April, so much appreciation for all the experts who share poetry writing hacks. I’ll be joining students and others in writing a poem a day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good to see you all “playing with poetry” together this month, Margaret. I look forward to checking in to see what you’re up to from time to time. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank YOU for once again organizing the Progressive Poem. I can’t believe it’s been going for 8 years! And I look forward to all your sunny, happy, yellow-inspired poems this month. I always enjoy your ekphrastic poems, Irene.


    1. What a great idea to offer poetry printables, Tabatha. I hope they appear in school hallways and libraries all over the country, and that some are used for poem in your pocket day.


  4. Like Tabatha, I’ve been reading poetry all the morning. Thanks for this, Jama, so much to love this April! I will add your link!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Poems are blooming everywhere!! Such a great way to celebrate April, isn’t it? I’m excited to follow everyone’s poem-a-day projects. Happy NPM Month, Linda!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, enjoyed today’s post with Eric. Looks like it’s going to be a fabulous series. Thanks so much for putting it together. Love the questions you asked.


  5. Jama, this is a marvelous catalog of all things poetic this month. Thank you for organizing this. I am going to tweet out your 2019 National Poetry Month Kidlitosphere Events Roundup on Twitter and will include the link at my Poetry Friday blog. Thank you so much for adding in my events.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jama — I cannot even believe all of this! It is an embarrassment of riches! Digging in now….


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