April 2021 marks the 25th annual celebration of poets and poetry and it’s not too late to make a plan for poetry month! Whether you want to sign up to write a poem a day or unofficially just plan to crank out some poetry in April, there are plenty of prompts and resources to keep you going strong all month. And that’s not all that’s going on either. Note: Check back often, since I’ll be updating this list as I come across other resources to participate in poetry month.
National Poetry Month is the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K-12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, bloggers, and, of course, poets marking poetry’s important place in our culture and our lives. Read more about the creation of National Poetry Month here at Poets.org
Ways to participate
- Download the National Poetry Month logo (in color, grayscale, for web or print) to display on your web site or social media
- Download a free National Poetry Month poster
- More ways to celebrate on Poets.org
- This amazing International Poetry Calendar curated by The Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry. “Send us poetry-related dates or events you’d like to see on our ever-blossoming Griffin International Poetry Calendar.”
- Poetry & the Creative Mind available virtually for the first time! The program features leading and legendary actors, dancers, artists, musicians, and public figures sharing their favorite poems. Register free here.
- Sign up to receive a poem-a-day in your email inbox
- Subscribe to the Poem-a-Day podcast
- Listen to poems on the Poetry Archive web site
- "Dear Poet": Promoting Poetry and Poets Laureate to Kids at Home – watch poems read by poet laureates
- Poets in Pajamas series – hosted by Sundress Publications, Sundays at 7pm EDT
- Wednesday Night Poetry open mic – hosted by Kai Coggin
- Entropy Magazine’s HUGE list of April Virtual Readings
- Furious Flower Facebook Live Reading Series – Fridays at 2pm EDT in April
- Green Mountains Review Social Distance Reading Series – You can currently find readings by Terrance Hayes, Kathryn Nuernberger, Philip Metres, and more.
Southern Fried Poetry, Inc – 2021 National Poetry Month Celebration – April 12 @ 6:00 PM – April 16 @ 7:30 PM, free to register here.
National Poetry Month Projects by Lit Mags/Presses (clmp members) – Check out what Apogee Journal, Baobab Press, BOA Editions, Red Hen Press, The Rumpus, The Paris Review, and so many others are up to for NaPoMo!
Writer’s Digest is running their April Poem-A-Day Challenge – Anyone can participate--there's no registration and no fees. They will post a daily prompt; you write a poem based on the prompt; you post the poem in the comments on their blog. Easy and fun! You can also submit up to 5 poems to be shared on the Writers Digest site.
Literary Events and Resources to Enjoy During National Poetry Month 2021 – via Robert F. Smith, featuring events by Columbia University, the National Museum of African American History & Culture, and Black History in 2 Minutes.
Writing Prompts for April’s Poem-a-Day Challenge (by Nin Andrews) via Best American Poetry with YouTube videos of the prompts “I’ll be relying on all those poets who so graciously offered up video prompts for Lit Youngstown’s Lit by the Imagination project, poets like Denise Duhamel, Stephanie Strickland, Peter Johnson, Jeff Friedman, Dante Di Stefano, and others. So many others. Every day there’s a new poet and a new prompt here.”
30 poetry prompts for NAPOWRIMO via Carolee Bennett – including links to other online prompts and past poetry prompts
Writing in Stressful Times: The Covid-19 Pandemic via Adele Kenny – Adele Kenny has a wonderfully inspiring poetry blog The Music In It: Adele Kenny's Poetry Blog chock full of over 300 writing prompts, including her Prompt #349 - Writing in Stressful Times: The Covid-19 Pandemic. She gives helpful commentary, quotes, resources, and several writing exercises and/or prompts in each post.
The Rise of Quarantine Zines and How to Make Your Own – lots of history and information on how to create and share your own zine.
Writing Prompts for Stay-At-Home Writers – hosted by LiteraryArts.org, shares prompts from established writers and poets throughout the week.
Other Sites with Poetry Prompts
Poetry Super Highway Prompt-A-Day - Submit your own prompt to be posted and read other poet’s prompts during April.
Fifty Two Poetry - includes 52 poetry prompts. "Write a poem a week. Start now. Keep going."
Poets & Writers puts out regular prompts for poetry as well as fiction and nonfiction on their Writing Prompts page. You can also subscribe to their e-newsletter and receive them right in your inbox weekly.
Ploughshares shared their favorite writing prompts of all-time in this article posted in December. Lots of great prompts in this list, including one I hope to take advantage of: "Write a dialog between your eyes and feet," from Anastacia Tolbert.
500 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing from The Learning Network. "The categorized list below touches on everything from sports to travel, education, gender roles, video games, fashion, family, pop culture, social media and more, and, like all our Student Opinion questions, each links to a related Times article and includes a series of follow-up questions. What's more, all these questions are still open for comment by any student 13 or older."
Bernadette Mayer's list of writing prompts – The Poetry Foundation describes Bernadette Mayer as "an avant-garde writer associated with the New York School of poets . . . known for her innovative use of language."
If you find other ways to participate or NaPoMo activities, please share them in the comments!
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