World Poetry Day is a United Nations holiday celebrated on March 21 every year. It was officially founded by UNESCO in 1999. Its purpose is to promote the reading, writing, publishing, and teaching of poetry throughout the world. One of the main objectives of the day is to support linguistic diversity through poetic expression and to offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities. April is also Academy of American Poets National Poetry Month, which is celebrated in both the U.S. and Canada.
Many libraries will be hosting a poetry readings on March 21 and also in April, but here are some additional fun things your patrons might like.
World Poetry Day Facebook Group
The World Poetry Day Facebook Group has a trove of announcements from organizations all over the world on what events they are planning. The general social media hashtag for World Poetry Day is #WorldPoetryDay. The hashtag for National Poetry Month is not surprisingly, #nationalpoetrymonth.
World Poetry Day Resources from Teachstarter
This Poetry Day resource from Teachstarter includes fun things like several posters, including the "Onomatopoeia Man" poster, and worksheets on acrostic poems, shape poems, haikus, limericks, odes, and autobiographies.
Education World's Poetry Month Resources
This great resource from Education World includes activities like educator Brenda Dyck's great "Poetry Slam Cures the Mid-Winter Blahs" and poet Kenn Nesbitt's provocative opinion piece "A Good Poem Will Give You Goose Bumps!" Nesbitt is also interviewed about his favorite fun kids poems.
Poet.org's 30 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month is a good place to request a free copy of the National Poetry Month poster until mid-April. Also find here a link to Edward Hirsch's essay "How to Read a Poem." Find a link on how your young patrons can participate in the Dear Poet project. The larger Poets.org website includes the work of hundreds of poets and more than 1,400 poems. Included are poet biographies, selected works, and a collection of poems in audio format.
Poets.org also hosts a Poetry Near You page where anyone can search by state or zip code for live readings and events in their vicinity.
For more live readings, Poetry Slam, Inc., has a nice listing of registered poetry slams across the U.S.
University Library Poetry Guides
If you like well-curated poetry book lists, Stanford Library has a very nice one for children and young adults. MIT Libraries also has a nice list of poems, literary magazines, books about poetry, and translations from last year's National Poetry Month.
Poetry Performances on YouTube
Don't have a poetry reading lined up? Never fear. The incomparable wordplay artist Shel Silverstein has an impressive YouTube channel of him reading his own poems and an endless parade of other recitations including a beat box version of Where the Sidewalk Ends.
For adult patrons, the SlamFind YouTube channel hosts energetic slam poetry performances across several themes like feminism, families, and an editor's choice channel. Just set up an Internet-connected TV and let the good times roll.
Readwritethink World Poetry Day Events
Readwritethink has an interesting set of resources for kids up to age 18. An unusual one is Talking Poetry with Blabberize, an online tool in which anyone can upload their poem, and a fun animated creature will recite it.
Not satisfied with just one poetry day or even one month? Here are some resources for all year long.
From the Library of Congress, this site features a year's worth of poetry for high school students. Beginning with Billy Collins' "Introduction to Poetry," the poems are meant to be read aloud and enjoyed by the entire school community.
Though not all poems are appropriate for younger readers, you can search the archives to find a full year of poems.