Honor Martin Luther King Jr. day in poetry —— poems & national events



This weekend has been a whirlwind of amazing events for me here in Utah, including the exceptional performance by Taylor Mac kicking off MLK week and the inspirational, packed #writersresist event last night at Mandate Press. Today, I’m immersing myself in reading poems to honor Martin Luther King Jr. and listening to our local community radio station KRCL online as they play music and speech excerpts in his honor. You can also listen to the entirety of his “I Have a Dream” speech here on NPR.

Below are links to key national events including poetry readings, as well as links to poems honoring the memory of MLK. If you know of other events in your area, please share them in the comments.

National Poetry-related Events

Boulder, CO – MLK Day: A Racial Justice Conversation

Monday, January 16, 2017 | 4pm
Alfalfa's Community Room | 1651 Broadway

Charlotte, NC - Art, Poetry, Music (Opera Carolina)

Monday, January 16, 2017 | 7pm
Friendship Missionary Baptist Church | 3400 Beatties Ford Road

Harrisburg, PA – MLK Day International Poetry & Storytelling Festival

Monday, January 16, 2017 | 6pm
Temple University Harrisburg | 234 Strawberry Square

New York, NY – Daniel J. Watts Presents MLK Jam

Monday, January 16, 2017 | 7:30pm
The Studio at Webster Hall | 125 East 11th St.

Pittsburgh, PA – Poetry Unplugged

Monday, January 16, 2017 | 8pm
August Wilson Center for African American Culture | 980 Liberty Ave.

San Francisco, CA - 20th Annual Bringing the Noise for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Monday, January 16, 2017 | 7pm
Nourse Theater | 575 Hayes St.

Sleepy Hollow, NY – David Mills Presents his One-Man Show about Dr. MLK, Jr.

Monday, January 16, 2017 | 7:30pm
The Hudson Valley Writers’ Center | 300 Riverside Dr, Sleepy Hollow

Tacoma, WA – Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration

Monday, January 16, 2017 | 10am – 1pm
Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center

Washington D.C. – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

Monday, January 16, 2017 | 2pm
Washington National Cathedral | 3101 Wisconsin Ave, NW

MLK Day Poems

One Today by Richard Blanco

Microwave Popcorn by Harmony Holiday

from Citizen, VI [My brothers are notorious] by Claudia Rankine

Shafro by Terrance Hayes

Dream Variations by Langston Hughes

won't you celebrate with me by Lucille Clifton

Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

I, Too by Langston Hughes

In Memoriam: Martin Luther King, Jr. by June Jordan

RIOT by Gwendolyn Brooks

Weekly Poem: Elizabeth Alexander honors MLK Day with stories of the black experience from PBS Newshour 1/20/2014

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