National Poetry Month began in the US in 1996, spearheaded by the Academy of American Poets on the steps of a post office in New York City. There, the story goes, Academy staff members handed out copies of T.S. Eliot’s poem, “The Waste Land,” which begins, “April is the cruellest month…” to individuals waiting in line to mail their tax returns. Established in Canada in 1998, NPM now brings together schools, publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, and poets from across the country to celebrate poetry and its vital place in Canada’s culture.
April also celebrates Poem in Your Pocket Day each year! The day encourages people to select a poem, carry it with them, and share it with others throughout the day. For more information about this initiative, visit poets.ca/pocketpoem.
FUNDING IS CURRENTLY CLOSED FOR NATIONAL POETRY MONTH READINGS. APPLICATIONS WILL RE-OPEN IN JANUARY.
NATIONAL POETRY MONTH 2018 WILL CELEBRATE THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF NPM IN CANADA!
This year, we’re excited to see what all of you bring to National Poetry Month. After 20 years and over a decade of themed Aprils, we’re letting you take center stage this year to celebrate National Poetry Month in ways that are meaningful to you! We will be sharing some contents, lists, and recommendations, but more than anything we can’t wait to see what Canada’s biggest poetry fans will celebrate this April. What will you read? What events will you organize, attend? Will you start your own poetry writing project? Will you write your first poem? Will you share your poetry on stage for the first time?
If you’re planning an event for April, send us the details so we can include you in a national map of NPM18 events! Complete this form and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org to be included.
While you’re planning, check out some of our resources if you need a place to start: our “Get Involved” blog post suggests many ways to celebrate April, from hosting an event to setting a 30-day writing challenge; last year, we put together a blog post of suggested NPM activites for young readers that can be faciliated by educators, parents, and librarians; and we rounded up a few little ways to work poetry into your day-to-day here!
Find all of our NPM posts on the NPM blog!
2016: THE ROAD
2014: POETRY CITY
2013: FIFTEENTH ANNIVERSARY!
2010: CLIMATE CHANGES
2009: POETRY PLANET
2008: POETRY WITHOUT BORDERS
2007: POETRY IN THE FUTURE
2006: LCP CELEBRATES 40 YEARS
2005 POSTER (no theme)
2004: POETS IN OUR COMMUNITIES