Passionate about pentameter? Really into rhyme and rhythm? Are you a stanza stan? The Library can help you get well-versed during National Poetry Month with a collection of reading recommendations, special online events, book discussions, and more!
► Reading Lists
► Events & Video
► What's Your KCQ? Poetry Feature
► Book Discussions
► Databases and Resources
Explore these stellar new books of poetry. We couldn't resist throwing in a few classics as well.
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Enjoy digital editions of poetry books and collections available in hoopla. Download or stream titles in eBook or digital audiobook formats immediately with your library card.
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Lift Every Voice: The Enduring Power of Langston HughesKevin Young, Edgar Tidwell, Glenn North, Tahraji Milsap, Jayden James
Wednesday, April 21, 2021 | 6:30 p.m.
The Library celebrates the life and work the Missouri-born poet, playwright, and novelist in an online, multifaceted event coinciding with National Poetry Month.
Kevin Young, director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, joins University of Kansas English professor and Hughes scholar Edgar Tidwell in a discussion of Hughes’ continued relevance, particularly to young people. Two Kansas City teens, Tahraji Milsap and Jayden James, read four of Hughes’ poems and share their thoughts during the conversation on his legacy. Glenn North, the inaugural poet laureate of Kansas City’s 18th & Vine Jazz District, offers opening remarks.
The online event is part of a yearlong series, Lift Every Voice: A Nationwide Celebration of 250 Years of African-American Poetry, presented in partnership with the Library of America and the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
DETAILS | Watch Video
U.S. POET LAUREATE CONVERSATION
Trailblazing Women Writers Series: Joy Harjo
What's Your KCQ?
Meet the humble Kansas City woman who wrote WWII poem ‘heard ’round the world’
It was a hot June night in 1943, and Frances Angermayer could not sleep. So, she arose after midnight, went to her typewriter, and—in twenty minutes—wrote what was to become the most famous poem of World War II.
This edition of “What’s Your KC Q?” a partnership series with the Library and the Kansas City Star, explores the astonishing story of “Conversion,” a verse about a soldier’s talk with God that brought hope to millions of readers during the height of the war. The poet, an unassuming secretary from Kansas City, could not have foreseen that her simple composition would find its way into the hands and hearts of countless soldiers across the globe.
Black Classics Book Group Reads "African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song"
Online Book Group
Lucile H. Bluford Branch's Black Classics Book Group 's latest pick is African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song. Join in the online discussion; RSVPs required.
Great Books KC Book Group Reads "Notebook of a Return to the Native Land"
Online Book Group
Plaza Branch's Great Books KC Book Group explores Notebook of a Return to the Native Land. Join in the online discussion; RSVPs required.
DETAILS | RSVP
DATABASES & DIGITAL RESOURCES
Black Poetry Databases
African American Poetry contains nearly 3,000 poems by African American poets of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.