National Poetry Month
“Launched by the Academy of American Poets in April 1996, National Poetry Month is a special occasion that celebrates poets’ integral role 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 Poets.org)
Did you know that RVA has a Poet Laureate? In 2021 the first Poet Laureate for the City of Richmond was announced. Roscoe Burnem served in the post for two years. The applications just closed for the next RVA Poet Laureate position and the appointee should be announced this month. For additional information please visit https://rvapoetlaureate.org/
Looking for poetry events in April? The Visual Arts Center of Richmond is presenting its first RVA Poetry Fest this month! This free event begins on Friday, April 14 and continues into Saturday, April 15, 2023.
Would you like to find poetry at the library and don’t know where to begin? Poetry is shelved in non-fiction using the Dewey Decimal System. Is poetry non-fiction? Some is and some isn’t. With Dewey, the classification was trying to make sense of how books were shelved in libraries. In this system, 800s include literature in its many forms. Poetry, plays and some essay collections are included in the 800s. This section is further divided by American writers, British authors, etc. So where are the poems? 811.
All Richmond Public Library locations have poetry collections on the shelves. As with other items, these may be searched in the online catalog and requested for holds. The libraries regularly receive new and updated poetry collections by local and international poets. Browse the shelves or browse from home on the online catalog. You may search by poet or use the search term “poetry” or “poem” and a list will appear. There are poetry collections for all ages, toddler to adult. Many illustrators have published a favorite poem as a picture book for children, with a line or two on each page. Go online for a search, browse 811s at your local library or ask our friendly library staff who are always willing to help.
Whatever you do, pick up a poem and celebrate in April and all through the year.