• Perfect National Poetry Month NYPL Events For Young Writers

    April is National Poetry Month, and there’s no better way to celebrate than with all the New York Public Library’s poetry events across the boroughs.

    By Caitlin Wolper
    kids on floor in classroom


    Every April, writers across the country celebrate National Poetry Month. But this event isn’t adults-only: There are plenty of ways for kids to get involved with all different styles of poetry. The New York Public Library system has created a series events to inspire and educate future poets all month.


    National Poetry Month Workshop
    April 3, 10, 17, 24
    Ages 4-12

    Every Tuesday in April, kids can gather at Mosholu Library to hone their craft. Whether their writing skews serious or silly and they’re experienced or a novice, there’s space for anyone who’s interested in exploring the written word; attend every week and find friends just as interested in poetry as your child is. Moshulu Library, 285 East 205th Street, nypl.org

    Window Poetry
    April 4

    Kids 5 and up can dress up the windows in the Teen Corner with their favorite quotes to celebrate National Poetry Month. Francis Martin Library, 2150 University Avenue, nypl.org

    Flower Poetry
    April 5

    This event is part-poetry, part-crafts. After kids draw a flower, they will use the parts of their drawing–stem, leaves, and petals–to create their own poems about spring, perfect for April! Tremont Library, 1866 Washington Avenue, nypl.org

    Rhyme Time Poetry Slam
    April 10

    Kids ages 3-12 can take some time to work on their writing, focusing primarily on haikus, couplets, and free verse poems. Writers will be able to share their work with their peers at the end (that’s where the slam comes in)! Woodstock Library, 761 East 160th Street, nypl.org

    Fortune Cookie Poetry
    April 11

    You know those little predictions that come on fortune cookie papers? Kids will draw inspiration from those in their own writing and come up with short poems that they can tuck inside a cookie. Francis Martin Library, 2150 University Avenue, nypl.org

    Poetic Decathalon!
    April 17

    This event, designed for kids ages 13-18, will let writers explore 10 different ways they can make their poetry stand out. They’ll be able to read the works of prolific poets and learn about imagery, voice, tone, and more to develop their own styles and hone their editing processes. Belmont Library and Enrico Fermi Cultural Center, 610 East 186th Street, nypl.org

    The Persona Poem
    April 18

    In this workshop, writers 13-18 can learn about the construction of the persona poem and how to write in the first person with another speaker’s voice. By putting on a persona, often poets find they are far more able to reveal truths or secrets behind a sort of mask. Baychester Library, 2049 Asch Loop North, nypl.org

    Slam Poetry Workshop
    April 18

    Teens can gather in this space to write, workshop, and share their slam poems in a judgement-free zone. Francis Martin Library, 2150 University Avenue, nypl.org

    Poetry Slam
    April 24

    Attendees at this event can share a poem they love or one of their own (though plenty of poems could be both)! Sign up at the Teen Desk to perform. The slam is open to all. Bronx Library Center, 310 East Kingsbridge Road, nypl.org

    Poetry Wall
    April 25

    Let imaginations run wild as kids write their favorite poems and poems of their own on the library’s outdoor chalk wall. Francis Martin Library, 2150 University Avenue, nypl.org


    Haiku You
    April 19

    Everyone knows the structure of the classic Japanese poetry form of the haiku (cheat code: 5-7-5), and this class makes it personal. Teens can write haikus specifically about how they define themselves (what makes you “you”). Some poems may be featured in the Teen Zone. Washington Heights Library, 1000 St. Nicholas Avenue, nypl.org

    Teen Book Club
    April 24

    For this meeting of the Teen Book Club, readers will discuss The Poet X, about a girl named Xiomara who pours out all of her feelings into her journals. After joining her school’s slam poetry club, she thinks about performing her work. Join the group for snacks and discussion. Columbus Library, 742 10th Avenue, nypl.org

    Be sure to keep an eye out for other library events, and don’t forget to check out the goings-on at Poets House (a reading/discussion and Poem in Your Pocket Day) and throughout the city too!

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