Ways to celebrate National Poetry Month in Connecticut

National Poetry Month, celebrated in April, commemorates the critical role poetry plays in American culture. Nationwide, countless schools, libraries, shops, and organizations come together to celebrate. With thousands of activities happening throughout the month, here are a few events and spaces to keep an eye out for.

Earth Day Poetry Reading

100 Poverty Road, Southbury.

To celebrate both National Poetry Month and Earth Day, the Southbury Library invites guests to join in a poem-sharing session on April 18 at 6:30 p.m. The theme of the night is to share and reflect on our relationship with nature, the Earth, and the environment through literary expression. Attendees are encouraged to share a favorite self-written poem, or that of another poet in celebration of all-things Mother Nature. The Earth Day Poetry Reading will also feature Southbury Poet Laureate Faith Vicinanza, a published writer and visual artist, who will share some of her work throughout the event. Like all Southbury Public Library programs, the Earth Day Poetry Reading is free to attend and open to anyone regardless of town of residency, so register today to join the celebration.

Poetry Contest & Slam

Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore. 413 Main St., Middletown.

To experience a little friendly youth competition, head over to Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore on Friday, April 28 at 4 p.m. Students between grades 1 through 6 are challenged to submit a poem for adjudication, and one winner and two runners-up will be selected from each group. (1st and 2nd graders, 3rd and 4th graders, and 5th and 6th graders compete against one another.) The contest winner will receive a $20.00 Wesleyan RJ Julia Gift Card and the runners-up will each receive a $5.00 RJ Julia Gift Card. All winners and runners-up will be invited to read their poems at the  Poetry Slam, where entrants, families, and others are invited to attend. The last date for submissions is Saturday, April 22 by 6 p.m.

Celebrating Poetry

Woodbury Public Library, 269 Main St S., Woodbury.

On Saturday, April 29, the Woodbury Public Library wil host an all-day celebration of poetry in the Library's Gallery Space. Enjoy the musings of Connecticut's Poet Laureate, Antoinette Brim-Bell, along with several other Connecticut poets and creatives for panel discussions and workshops on topics including poetry, poetic form, poetry and art, poetry and music, and more. Also enjoy the musical stylings of local musicians providing some entertainment to enhance the artsy ambiance. With opportunities to mix and mingle with writers, talk shop, buy merch, and enjoy some tunes, this event will be one to write home about (pun intended) – don’t miss it. 

Saturday Mornings with Poetry

Wallingford Public Library, 200 North Main St., Wallingford.

Every Saturday morning, the Wallingford Public Library hosts a meeting of folks who love reading, writing, and experiencing poetry. Saturday Mornings with Poetry provides a safe space for poets to explore their passion, discuss the literary works of poets both famous and not-yet-discovered, and improve their writing and editing skills among supportive peers that often turn into friends. No registration is required, and since it’s a recurring event, you can enjoy these sessions all throughout National Poetry Month and beyond. 

With so many literary activities happening throughout the month, it’s exciting to reflect on the stories, journeys, and minds of others shared through wordy renderings. This April, try to explore the arts and find the beauty in rhythm and words, or whatever moves you. 

Francesca Fontánez is a Meriden-based journalist, educator, and creative. Email Francesca at eastsidevibeswithcess@gmail.com.


More From This Section