April is one of the most interesting months of the year for me because it’s National Poetry Month . Poetry Month was thought up back in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets. Twenty years later, the month has many supporters; there are now countries all over the world that celebrate the month of April and honor their favorite poets. Poetry Month is a wonderful way to raise awareness about the value of poetry, to pay tribute to all the amazing poets, past and present, and to entice our future poets as well.
I once hosted a poetry slam at the library, and it was a total blast! I had originally planned it as a teen event, but a few adults showed up to read poetry they had written. It grew very serious. Quite a few teens showed up, too, and they all got up there and blew everyone away with their deep and amazing words. The neatest thing was that many of the teens had written their prose in text messages, and they read it right off their phones at the event. It was quite the generational gap event, but everyone was very appreciative of each other’s poetry. That’s the beauty of Poetry Month — anyone can participate.
There are so many different ways to celebrate in your library. You can have teens read poetry aloud, have teens write their own poetry, or host programs that integrate poetry into crafts. I remember an awesome program where I brought my husband’s old Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd albums, and we read the lyrics off of the back of the album covers. The teens were clamoring for more, and I was thrilled that they were interested in learning about poetry in such a fun and interactive way.
Here are some poetry-related crafts and ideas for tweens and teens:
Thread spool poetry : Check out this fun, easy and beautiful craft you can create from vintage wooden spools.
Spine label poetry : Choose several books and stack them up to see what sort of poetry emerges on their spines.
Blackout poetry : Find poetry among the words on a page of a book and black out the rest. This awesome YouTube tutorial shows you how.
Poetry in your pocket wall : Look at all of these amazing art ideas for your teens!
Make a poet-tree : Patrons of all ages can hang poems on a poet-tree in this adorable idea shared by Lindsey Dunn, editor/bibliographer at NoveList.
Tune in later this month for tips and ideas on Earth Day crafts for tweens and teens.