In 2008, the Bettendorf Public Library in Bettendorf, Iowa was awarded a $2,500 Grant from the ALA Public Programs Office to host the “Let’s Talk About It: Love & Forgiveness” reading and discussion series. Funding for the project was provided by the Fetzer Institute’s Campaign for Love and Forgiveness.
Every year since the Academy of American Poets launched National Poetry Month in 1996 we have come up with a new angle to help draw people into the world of poetry. For 2009, we are playing off of Paul Sahre’s National Poetry Month Poster design, which features lines from “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” scrawled on a fogged window: “Do I dare / Disturb the universe?” We invited people to send in photographs of bits of verse that they have presented in some ephemeral medium.
There are many regional poetry festivals and other poetry-related events happening around the country during National Poetry Month, and all year long. If you are interested in booking a local or regional poet for future programming at your library, gathering resources on poetry to supplement your current programming, or you just want to see what sort of poetry events are happening near you, check out the Academy of American Poets’ National Poetry Map. Below are some events happening in April, just in time for National Poetry Month!
It’s not too late to get in on the poetry action for January, with Elizabeth Alexander in the news as the poet who will be featured at Barack Obama’s inauguration on January 19. Whether you decide on a book display featuring Alexander and other past inaugural poets (there are only three others!) or a live program, there seem to be a lot of options. There’s even a website trying to organize 100 readings on the day at libraries and other sites around the country.