April is National Poetry Month. “Launched by the Academy of American Poets in April 1996, National Poetry Month reminds the public that poets have an integral role to play in our culture and that poetry matters. Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K–12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, families, and—of course—poets, marking poetry’s important place in our lives.”- From https://poets.org/national-poetry-month
Poets.org offers “Poem-a-Day”:
Sign up here and they will email you a poem each day in April.
Or you can subscribe to their “Poem-a-Day” Podcast:
We have curated a small taste of the poetry we have in our collection below. These titles are available to download from BARD, or you can call us to have them mailed to you. You can also request other poetry!
Poetry for kids and teens:
APPLE: SKIN TO THE CORE: A MEMOIR IN WORDS AND PICTURES by Eric Gansworth (DB 101947)
Memoir-in-verse by award-winning author and artist, Eric Gansworth. Gansworth, a member of the Onondaga Nation, tells his story of growing up at the Tuscarora Nation. He covers his family’s history and struggles, the impact of boarding schools, racism, and poverty. Strong language. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2020.
BARK IN THE PARK!: POEMS FOR DOG LOVERS by Avery Corman (DB 95455)
Poems about different kinds of dogs and their unique traits as they romp about in a park. For grades K-3. 2019.
BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD: THE POETRY OF MISTER ROGERS by Fred Rogers (DB 96626)
Lyrics to seventy-five songs from the children’s television program Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, collected and presented as a treasury of poems. Lyrics explore topics such as feelings, new siblings, everyday life, and imagination. Commercial audiobook. For preschool-grade 2 and older readers. 2019.
EEK, YOU REEK!: POEMS ABOUT ANIMALS THAT STINK, STANK, STUNK by Jane Yolen (DB 98262)
Collection of poems about the different critters in nature that make a funky impact in their environment. For grades 2-4. 2019.
EXQUISITE: THE POETRY AND LIFE OF GWENDOLYN BROOKS by Suzanne Slade
A free verse biography of poet Gwendolyn Brooks, the first Black person to win the Pulitzer Prize. From a young age, Brooks found inspiration from her family, in nature and her Chicago neighborhood, and began writing poetry at the age of seven. Includes her poem “Clouds.” For grades K-3. 2020.
HILL WE CLIMB: AN INAUGURAL POEM FOR THE COUNTRY by Amanda Gorman
National Youth Poet Laureate delivers an empowering and hopeful poem for the nation. Originally read on January, 20, 2021, at the inauguration of the 46th president of the United States, Joe Biden. Foreword by Oprah Winfrey. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2021.
NO MORE POEMS!: A BOOK IN VERSE THAT JUST GETS WORSE by Rhett Miller
Humorous poems about such subjects as disco bath parties, sneaky sisters, nose hairs, and wanting a dog. Commercial audiobook. For grades K-3. 2019.
NO VOICE TOO SMALL: FOURTEEN YOUNG AMERICANS MAKING HISTORY by Various Authors (DB 103950)
Joseph Bruchac, Nikki Grimes, Janet Wong, and others present poems about young activists who have stepped up to make changes in their community and in the United States. For grades 2-4. 2020.
PLACE INSIDE OF ME: A POEM TO HEAL THE HEART by Zetta Elliot (DB 103759)
A young Black boy skateboards and ponders his deep emotions, from joy to sorrow and anger to compassion, but above all, love. For grades K-3. 2020.
SHOUT: A POETRY MEMOIR by Laurie Halse Anderson (DB 94454)
A memoir in verse shares the author’s life, covering her difficult early childhood, her rape at thirteen, and her experiences surrounding the publication of her 1999 novel Speak (DB 49958). Strong language, some violence, and some descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2019
SUPERLATIVE BIRDS by Leslie Bulion (DB 94751)
Poems in a variety of verse forms with accompanying science notes introduce readers to eighteen unusual birds. For grades 2-4. 2019.
THEY CALL ME BUERO: A BORDER KID’S POEMS by David Bowles (DB 106023)
A novel in verse. Güero and his misfit crew—los Bobbys—discover girls and occasionally get into trouble by the Mexican border. Güero copes with life’s challenges by writing poetry, after encouragement from his teacher. Commercial audiobook. For grades 5-8. 2018.
WOKE: A YOUNG POET’S CALL TO JUSTICE by Various Authors (DB 99980)
A collection of poems by women that reflects the joy and passion in the fight for social justice. Topics include ableism, body positivity, empathy, equality, justice, privilege, resistance, and more. For grades 3-6. 2020.
Poetry for adults:
BEST AMERICAN POETRY, 2019 by Various Authors (DB 96983)
Seventy-five previously published poems. Includes works by Margaret Atwood, Ocean Vuong, Naomi Shihab Nye, and former United States poet laureates Natasha Trethewey, Juan Felipe Herrera, and Tracy K. Smith. Violence and strong language. 2019
BLACK FROM THE FUTURE: A COLLECTION OF BLACK SPECULATIVE WRITING by Various Authors (DB 97405)
A collection of stories by Black women writers from across the spectrum of Black speculative writing, including science fiction, fantasy, magical realism, and Afrofuturism. Includes stories from, among others, Jewelle Gomez, Eden Royce, Nicole Sconiers, Morgan Christie, Vernita Hall, Stefani Cox, and Leila Green. 2019.
CALL US WHAT WE CARRY: POEMS by Amanda Gorman (DB 106426)
A collection of more than seventy poems written by National Youth Poet Laureate and New York Times bestselling author Amanda Gorman. Reflects on the past, present, and future, exploring history, language, identity, grief, and hope. Includes The Hill We Climb, which was read during the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden, in 2021. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2021.
CRYING BOOK by Heather Christle (DB 98483)
A poet wrestles with the concepts and impacts of death, mental illness, grief, joy, impending motherhood, and the role of crying in female agency. Some strong language. 2019.
FELON: POEMS by Reginald Dwayne Betts (DB 97471)
Collection of poems examining the ways prison viscerally effects a person’s sense of identity. Each poem follows a single man through his experiences, which include homelessness, underemployment, love, drug abuse, domestic violence, and fatherhood, and his emotional reactions to them. Strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2019.
HERMOSA by Yesika Salgado (DB 97983)
Collection of 55 poems exploring relationships, romance, sex, grief, survival, life in Los Angeles, fighting for a better future, and everyday moments. Some strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex. 2019.
HOMIE: POEMS by Danez Smith (DB 99206)
Collection of thirty-six poems exploring the meaning and importance of friendship. Examines the impact of violence, xenophobia, and disparity on those defined by race, queerness, and diagnosis. Reflects on the loss of one the author’s closest friends. Some strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2020.
MAGICAL NEGRO: POEMS by Morgan Parker (DB 95008)
Collection of forty poems exploring the everyday black experience in America. Themes include loneliness, displacement, grief, ancestral trauma, and objectification. Also examines tropes and stereotypes of black Americans. Strong language and explicit descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. 2019.
MAKE ME RAIN: POEMS & PROSE by Nikki Giovanni (DB 102243)
Collection of seventy-four poetry and prose works by the author of Chasing Utopia (DB 77840) and Racism 101 (DB 38687) explore themes of living in America while Black. In “Lemonade Grows from Soil, Too” she reflects on poetry in black culture. Violence and some strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2020.
NOUNS & VERBS: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS by Campbell McGrath (DB 9644)
Collection of more than one hundred poems—some previously published–that explore American spiritual and material hungers. “Reading Emily Dickinson at Jiffy Lube” is a musing on the work and impact of Emily Dickinson and the author himself, geography, Smirnoff Ice, and Bruce Springsteen. Strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2019.
OCTOPUS MUSEUM: POEMS by Brenda Shaughnessy (DB 97204)
Collection of twenty-nine poems by the author of Our Andromeda (DB 75566) structured around the concept of visiting exhibits in a museum. Themes explored include environmental destruction, racism, sexism, and divisive politics. 2019.
TRADITION by Jericho Brown (DB 96974)
Collection of fifty-two poems exploring the nature and lasting impact of injuries, both personal and on a national level. In the title poem, the author reflects on generational promises given, but which are undercut by state violence. Violence. Pulitzer Prize for poetry, 2020. 2019.
TRUTH ABOUT MAGIC by Atticus (Poet) (DB 97002)
Collection of poems, by the author of The Dark between Stars (DB 92580), that explore heartbreaks, falling in love, looking back, and looking inwards. Examines the emotions that romantic relationships engender and the journey of investigating ourselves that they allow. Some strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2019.