Ideas for celebrating National Poetry Month

Posted by on April 4th, 2011

Shakespeare wrote, “April hath put a spirit of youth in everything” — and, thanks to National Poetry Month, April is also infused with language, rhythm, imagery and verse.

The Academy of American Poets established National Poetry Month in 1996, and offers [a complete guide to marking the occasion]( — including a [30-day Twitter marathon]( featuring a different poet each day, which kicked off on April 1 with our own 2011 faculty member [D.A. Powell](

For those of us living in the north San Francisco Bay Area, there are plenty of opportunities to meet other poetry lovers live in person. A smattering of local events:

– On April 8, former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins reads at Book Passage in Corte Madera at 7 p.m. and will be introduced by fellow former U.S. Poet Laureate Kay Ryan. For more information and several more Poetry Month events at the Marin bookstore, visit [the Book Passage Web site](

– On April 9, Napa County’s own current and former poets laureate will read at the Napa Valley Museum. Michael Waterson, Gary Silva, Jim Lyle, Carolyn Wing Greenlee and Theresa Whitehill will read, and members of the audience will be invited to share their own works. For more information, see [the event listing in the Napa Valley Register]( or call (707) 944-0500.

– April 14 is the Academy of American Poets’ [Poem in Your Pocket Day]( Participate wherever you are by selecting a poem you love and carrying it in your pocket to share with friends, coworkers and family.

– April 19 brings poets Jeanne Wagner and Christina Hutchins to Readers’ Books in Sonoma at 7:30 p.m. to read from their latest volumes. For those of you who’d like to share your own works, Readers’ Books will also host a “Random Acts” open mic gathering on April 9. For details on both events, [visit the Readers’ Books Web site](

– April 23 is William Shakespeare’s birthday, and the WordTemple Poetry Series celebrates in Sebastopol at 7 p.m. with a diverse lineup of local poets, including Paul Hoover, who will present his new volume _Sonnet 56_, inspired by the Bard. For information, [visit the WordTemple Web site](

– On April 30 starting at 7:30 p.m., a celebration of music and poetry by the Petaluma River brings the month to a close. For full details, plus still more poetry events in Sonoma County, check out [the April edition of the Sonoma County Literary Update](

How will you celebrate? Share your ideas and more events in the comments!

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