Poetry Month Programs and Reading Recommendations

Monday, April 1, 2024

Books to read for National Poetry Month

# Celebrating Poetry at Jacksonville Public Library

April is National Poetry Month and we've got some great recommendations for you, including some books of poetry by local poets like Jessica Q. Stark!  Whether you enjoy reading poetry or writing it yourself, we also have several programs and drop-in activities happening around the library system including a poetry program double-header (Lit Chat and Writer's Lab) at Willow Branch Library on Saturday, April 13! 

If you're participating in the Jax Stacks Reading Challenge, this month, one of the challenge categories we'll be focusing on is "A book of poetry, essays or short stories." So, join the virtual book club meeting or watch our Library blog for more poetry recommendations!


# Library Programs & Activities

We Are Open for Poets at Art Walk

We Are Open for Art Walk

The Main Library is open late for Art Walk on Wednesday, April 3!  Adults (18+) can join us in the Lounge at 303 North (just inside the Laura Street entrance and to the left) for a special Jax Poetry Fest Open Mic Night sponsored by Hope at Hand, Inc., with emcee Taryn "LoveReigns" Wharwood. In the Zine Zone, we'll also have our monthly Zinester Meetup. Drop in for a poetry zine-making workshop with UNF Professor Andrew Kozlowski. You'll explore how surprising text and image pairings can spark new stories.

Art Walk is also partnering with Animal Care and Protective Services for this event. If you'd like to donate or drop off pet supplies for the ACPS shelter, look for the “I Love Art Walk” tent in James Weldon Johnson Park. Supplies needed include dry dog/cat food, durable toys, leashes, puppy pads, medical supplies, office supplies, and much more.

Lit Chat Author Talk with Lola Haskins

Lit Chat logoMeet poet Lola Haskins at the Willow Branch Library on April 13 from 11-11:30 a.m. She'll read selections from Homelight  (Charlotte Lit Press 2023), her 14th poetry collection and have copies available for sale after the program. It was named Poetry Book of the Year by Southern Literary Review. The collection before that, Asylum (University of Pittsburgh, 2019), was featured in the New York Times Magazine.

Register for the Lit Chat!

"The poems in Lola Haskins’ newest collection... are equally elegant and eloquent in their graceful blend of theme, imagery, and language," said Claire Hamner-Matturro Southern Literary Review.

Writer's Lab Workshop: There's No Place Like Poem

Writer's Lab with Anna Claire Hodge: There's No Place Like PoemLearn to write creatively about locale with instructor Anna Claire Hodge on Saturday, April 13, at 12 p.m. at the Willow Branch Library. In this interactive workshop, we'll discuss how poets use vivid imagery, sensory details, and cultural references to transport readers to specific locations. Participants will generate their own work and discover how landscapes, cities, and personal surroundings can serve as powerful catalysts for creative expression.

Register now!

Dr. Anna Claire Hodge is a poet and former professor of creative writing. She holds a Ph.D. and MFA in poetry, and her work has appeared in numerous publications both literary and mainstream. The workshop will end with a reading of her work and a Q&A. 

History Chat: Collecting Alan Justiss (To The Hawks Lend Your Heart)

History Chat: Collecting Alan JustissOn Saturday, April 27, at 2 p.m. at the Main Library in the Ansbacher Map Room (fourth floor), we'll be highlighting the life and poetry of Alan Justiss (1943-2011), a celebrated Jacksonville poet whose works have recently been acquired by our Special Collections department. The program will include a talk about Justiss’ life and legacy, poetry readings, a preview of an upcoming documentary, and an audience Q&A. 

Register now!

#  Reading Recommendations


Poetry Books for Kids



Poetry for Teens



Poetry for Adults


Completely Booked (Podcast)

Did you know? You can watch or listen to Lit Chat Author Interviews you might have missed (or want to watch again) over on our YouTube channel! You can also listen to the podcast version on Apple iTunes, Spotify, and other places you find podcasts!

Check out this Completely Booked episode (from a Lit Chat Interview with the author last April)!