History Chat: Collecting Alan Justiss for National Poetry Month

History Chat: Collecting Alan Justiss

This April, Jacksonville Public Library is 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. This panel discussion will be moderated by artist and educator, Nestor Gil. They'll talk about Justiss’ life and legacy, read selections of his poetry, and a preview of an upcoming documentary. An audience Q&A will follow the presentation.

Poetry Month Programs and Reading Recommendations

Books to Read for National Poetry Month

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!

We Are Open for Poets: April Art Walk at the Main Library

We are open for Art Walk

Celebrate our community's deep pool of creative talent on the first Wednesday of each month in Downtown Jacksonville! The Main Library is directly across from James Weldon Johnson Park, from one of Art Walk's three major hubs of activity, and plays host to student art shows, Author's Roundtables, teen open mic nights and more! Plus, it's the perfect time to take a self-guided tour of murals, maps and public art found throughout your library headquarters.

Meet NYT Bestselling Author Kwame Alexander

Lit Chat: An American Story Author Talk with Kwame Alexander and Dare Coulter

How do you talk to kids about slavery? In the new book, An American Story, New York Times bestselling author Kwame Alexander's unparalleled poetry combines with debut illustrator Dare Coulter's singular art to present a sweeping account of our country's founding. They'll join us, as part of their book tour, for an interview with Jacksonville's own Rahman Johnson to talk about how they put this book together and what they want readers to take away from it. The book and this interview program are intended for middle and high schoolers, educators, parents, and caregivers.

Announcing the Winners: Jax Student Poetry Contest

2022 Jax Student Poetry Contest

Earlier this year, a simple call went out to local students: submit an original poem, not to exceed one page in length, celebrating Jacksonville’s Bicentennial. Students were given a simple prompt: "Looking back, moving forward. Take a look back at our City's history while imagining our bold future!” Last month, winners were notified and given the opportunity to read their award-winning poems on camera.

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