April is National Poetry Month. Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month has become the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets celebrating poetry’s vital place in our culture.

We’ve compiled a list of local events and resources around the state that celebrate National Poetry Month. Most are free and all are open to the public.


The Work of Ada Limón
Tuesday, April 3, 2018 6:00pm
University of Arizona: Poetry Center
1508 E Helen St, Tucson AZ 85719
Poet, editor, and Poetry Center Publicity and Publications Coordinator Sarah Gzemski leads a Shop Talk on the work of Ada Limón, who reads for the Poetry Center on April 5 in Tucson and on April 6 at the Phoenix Art Museum. Presented by University of Arizona Poetry Center. For more information, visit https://poetry.arizona.edu/calendar

Local Author Series with Poet Tia Ballantine
Tuesday, April 3, 2018 1:00 – 2:00pm

Joyner-Green Valley Library
601 N. La Canada Dr, Green Valley AZ
Tia Ballantine will read a few poems from older books and more from her most recent books of poems When Mountains Walk and About Face (2016, Lelepono Press). When Mountains Walk includes poems of the Sonoran desert. Presented by Pima County Public Library. For more information, visit https://www.library.pima.gov/

FlagSlam’s National Poetry Month Slams: Sonnet
Wednesday, April 4, 2017 7:30 – 10:30pm
Firecreek Coffee Company
22 E Route 66, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
The Flagstaff Poetry Slam happens every Wednesday during Slam Season (September 1st – May 1st). There is a $2 door charge for audience members; free for competitors. Hosted by Flagstaff Poetry Slam. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/pg/flagslam/events

Creative Aging Art Class: Poetry
Thursdays, April 5, 12, 19, 26, 2018 2:00 – 4:00pm
Prescott Valley Public Library
7401 E Civic Circle Dr, Prescott Valley AZ
Prescott Valley Public Library is offering a 4-week poetry class in April. We will celebrate and explore all kinds of written word from haiku and limericks to free verse. This class is for the novice dabbler or the seasoned poet. Space is limited and registration is required. Please register online at http://pvlib.net. For more information call (928) 759-6189.

Ada Limón
Thursday, April 5, 2018 7:00pm
University of Arizona: Poetry Center
1508 E Helen St, Tucson AZ 85719

Ada Limón is the author of four books of poetry, including Bright Dead Things, which was named a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award for Poetry, a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, a finalist for the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award, and one of the Top Ten Poetry Books of the Year by The New York Times. She will read from her work, followed by a Q & A. Presented by University of Arizona Poetry Center. For more information, visit https://poetry.arizona.edu/calendar

Poetry Month in the Desert: Eloisa Amezcua and Natalie Diaz
Thursday, April 5, 2018 7:00pm
Mesa Community College, Elsner Library LB 300
1833 W Southern Ave, Mesa AZ 85202
Eloisa Amezcua, MacDowell fellow and author of From the Inside Quietly, winner of the inaugural Shelterbelt Poetry Prize and Natalie Diaz, Lannan Literary Fellow, Native Arts Council Foundation Artist Fellow, and author of When My Brother Was an Aztec. Presented by Mesa Community College, in partnership with Arizona Humanities. For more information, visit https://www.mesacc.edu/development/poetry-month-desert

Ada Limón at the Phoenix Art Museum
Friday, April 6, 2018 7:00pm
University of Arizona: Poetry Center
1508 E Helen St, Tucson AZ 85719
Ada Limón is the author of four books of poetry, including Bright Dead Things, which was named a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award for Poetry, a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, a finalist for the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award, and one of the Top Ten Poetry Books of the Year by The New York Times. She will read from her work, followed by a Q & A. Presented in collaboration with the Phoenix Art Museum and with support from lead sponsor the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, with additional support from the ASU Creative Writing Program, the Literary & Prologue Society, and Superstition Review. For more information, visit https://poetry.arizona.edu/calendar

Community Open Mic
Saturday, April 7, 2018 11:30am – 1:00pm
Hillman Odeum, University of Arizona: Poetry Center
1508 E Helen St, Tucson AZ 85719
Poetry Center Docents host their monthly Open Mic Event and all are welcome. This event takes place in the Hillman Odeum on the south side of the Poetry Center on the first Saturday of every month. Presented by University of Arizona Poetry Center. For more information, visit https://poetry.arizona.edu/calendar

Pō é tree: Respecting our Planet (Ecopoetry)
Saturday, April 7, 2018 3:00 – 4:00pm
Herring Hall, University of Arizona: Poetry Center
1508 E Helen St, Tucson AZ 85719
Pō é tree is a partnership between the University of Arizona Poetry Center and the University of Arizona Campus Arboretum. Pō é tree readings and discussions are held under the trees in front of Herring Hall at 3:00pm on first Saturdays of the month. Presented by University of Arizona Poetry Center. For more information, visit https://poetry.arizona.edu/calendar

Poetry Reading by Rosemarie Dombrowski
Monday, April 9, 2018 10:0011:00am
South Mountain Community Library
7050 S 24th St, Phoenix, AZ 85042
Rosemarie Dombrowski, Poet Laureate of the City of Phoenix, will give a poetry reading and talk in the South Mountain Community Library on the SMCC’s campus. She will be joined by guest poets Rashaad Thomas (Phoenix Center for the Arts), Megan Atencia (Phonetic Spit), Anna Flores (SMCL Teen Poetry), and Shawnte Orion (Rinky Dink Press). Hosted by South Mountain Community College and Maricopa Community Colleges. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/176082903182897/

National Poetry Month Celebration & High School Poetry Contest
Sunday, April 15, 2018 3:00 – 5:00pm
improvMANIA Comedy Club
250 S Arizona Ave, Chandler AZ 85225

Join in the annual National Poetry Month Celebration in downtown Chandler. This year’s event features Arizona’s high school poets performing for cash poetry contest prizes. This is an all ages free event. Presented by Connect and Heal. For more information, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/national-poetry-month-celebration-high-school-poetry-contest-tickets-43686502505

National Poetry Month Open Mic Hour
Tuesday, April 17, 2018 2:00 – 3:00pm
Joyner-Green Valley Branch Library
601 N. La Canada Dr, Green Valley AZ
Are you a poet looking to share your poetry with others? Do you love poetry and want to share a few of your favorite poems? Join us! Presented by Pima County Public Library. For more information, visit https://www.library.pima.gov/

FlagSlam’s National Poetry Month Slams: Epistle
Wednesday, April 18, 2017 7:00 – 10:00pm
Firecreek Coffee Company
22 E Route 66, Flagstaff, AZ 86001

The Flagstaff Poetry Slam happens every Wednesday during Slam Season (September 1st – May 1st). There is a $2 door charge for audience members; free for competitors. Hosted by Flagstaff Poetry Slam. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/pg/flagslam/events

Poetry Month in the Desert: Bojan Louis and Felicia Zamora
Thursday, April 19, 2018 7:00pm
Mesa Community College, Elsner Library LB 300
1833 W Southern Ave, Mesa AZ 85202
Bojan Louis, Poetry Editor for RED INK: An International Journal of Indigenous Literature, Arts, & Humanities and author of Currents and Felicia Zamora, 2017 Poet Laureate for Fort Collins, CO and author of Of Form & Gather, winner of the 2016 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize. Presented by Mesa Community College, in partnership with Arizona Humanities. For more information, visit https://www.mesacc.edu/development/poetry-month-desert

National Poetry Month Celebration at the Melrose Curve
Saturday, April 21, 2018 10:00am – 2:00pm
4238 N 7th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85013-3069
The City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture, in collaboration with the City of Phoenix Public Works Department, presents a special National Poetry Month celebration Saturday, April 21, from 10am – 2pm in the Melrose District at 7th Ave and Glenrosa. The event will debut a new public art installation and guests, District 4 Councilwoman Laura Pastor, Phoenix Poet Laureate, Rosemarie Dombrowski and Navajo Nation Poet Laureate Laura Tohe. https://www.facebook.com/events/1713160328722785/

Main Library Poetry Circle: Aimee Nezhukumatathil
Saturday, April 21, 2018 10:30 – 11:30am
Joel D Valdez Main Library
101 N Stone Ave, Tucson AZ 85701

A monthly poetry discussion, led by docents from the UA Poetry Center. The event is free, and no preparation or knowledge of poetry is necessary. This event takes place at the Joel D Valdez Main Library. Presented by University of Arizona Poetry Center. For more information, visit https://poetry.arizona.edu/calendar

Kirk-Bear Canyon Poetry Circle: Tracy K. Smith
Monday, April 23, 2018 1:00 – 2:15pm
Kirk-Bear Canyon Library, 8959 E Tanque Verde Rd, Tucson AZ 85749
A monthly poetry discussion, led by docents from the UA Poetry Center. The event is free, and no preparation or knowledge of poetry is necessary. This event takes place at the Kirk-Bear Canyon Library. Presented by University of Arizona Poetry Center. For more information, visit https://poetry.arizona.edu/calendar

Even Words Not Spoken Break Silence: Writing to Reclaim, Heal & Transform with Leilani Clark
Tuesday, April 24, 2018 4:00pm Workshop/5:30pm Performance
Copper Queen Library
6 Main St, Bisbee AZ 85603
Join spoken word artist, Leilani Clark (native-born Tucsonan (Diné/Santa Clara) and African American heritage), as she shares her journey using writing as a method to heal from trauma, validate her truth and break through silence. Strategies will be explored to transition written word to spoken word and build confidence in stage performance and personal story telling. For more information, visit http://azhumanities.org/national-poetry-month/

FlagSlam’s National Poetry Month Slams: Odes
Wednesday, April 25, 2017 7:30 – 10:30pm
Firecreek Coffee Company
22 E Route 66, Flagstaff, AZ 86001

The Flagstaff Poetry Slam happens every Wednesday during Slam Season (September 1st – May 1st). There is a $2 door charge for audience members; free for competitors. Hosted by Flagstaff Poetry Slam. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/pg/flagslam/events

Oro Valley Poetry Circle: Charles Simic and Surrealism
Thursday, April 26, 2018 2:00 – 3:30pm
Oro Valley Public Library
1305 W. Naranja Drive, Oro Valley AZ 85737

Led by UA Poetry Center docents, Poetry Circle is a program to expand participants’ knowledge and appreciation of poetry. Different poets are discussed each month with topics evolving from feedback of participants. Presented by University of Arizona Poetry Center. For more information, visit https://poetry.arizona.edu/calendar

Phoenix Poetry Series: Giancarlo Huapaya & Ilana Luna
Friday, April 27, 2018 7:00 – 9:00pm
Willo Room on the Osborn campus of Phoenix College
3310 N. 10th Ave, Phoenix AZ 85013
Phoenix Poetry Series presents Giancarlo Huapaya of Cardboard House Press and poet and translator, Ilana Luna. Luna will discuss her translation of Huapaya’s work, and both will read work in Spanish and English. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/1680020708758354/

 

2018 Spoken Futures Inc. Showcase
Saturday, April 28, 2018 5:00pm @ Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th, 525 N 4th Ave, Tucson AZ
Sunday, April 29, 2018 1:00pm @ Gallagher Theater, UA Student Union, 1303 E University Blvd, Tucson AZ
Spoken Futures, Inc. widens access to the literary arts and community engagement for young people across Southern Arizona. The two-day showcase will feature Tucson Youth Poetry Slam, art show and special guest performances. For more information, visit http://www.spokenfutures.org/

Diana Arterian and Douglas Manuel Read at Valley Bar
Monday, April 30, 2018 6:30pm
Valley Bar
130 N Central Ave, Phoenix AZ 85004

Poets Diana Arterian and Douglas Manuel read from their latest works–Playing Monster :: Seiche and Testify. This event is open to the public and free. Seating is first-come, first-serve (with room to stand). RSVP encouraged. Please note this event is 21+. Presented by the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing. For more information, visit https://piper.asu.edu/events/upcoming


For more information about National Poetry Month, visit the Academy of American Poets website. Find local and national events, participate in National Poetry Month projects like Poem in Your Pocket, Dear Poet, and Poem-a-Day, plus 30 more ways to celebrate.

Image courtesy of Mesa Community College’s Poetry in the Desert.

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