The ultimate guide to National Poetry Month in Philly

All things poem-related are in the spotlight this April.

poetry
Flickr Creative Commons / Hilary Dotson
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April is National Poetry Month, and Philly is celebrating with a multitude of word-happy events, from readings and open mic nights to public interviews and workshops. Best part? Most happenings are totally free.

The month was first designated in 1996, to encourage both reading of the genre and support for those who engage in the craft.

Though poetry obviously fosters literary engagement and coalition-building yearlong, the Academy of American Poets saw the need for a “time-bound occasion” — an anchor month. Twenty-two years after its founding, the literary celebration resonates with a broad range of community members, including writers, students, librarians, educators, wordsmiths and activists.

If you’re ready to get your poetry on, here’s a guide to what’s going down in Philly this April.

Poetry: Zack Haber, Oki Sogumi, Orchid Tierney

7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 1
Dahlak Paradise, 4708 Baltimore Ave.
Free

Gentlemen Boss Tour featuring Sarah Kay, Anis Mojgani, & Derrick C. Brown

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 3
PhilaMOCA, 531 N. 12th St.
Tickets $15-$20

Exploring Russian Imagination Through Poetry and Music

10:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 4
The Barbara and Harvey Brodsky Enrichment Center, 345 Montgomery Ave., Bala Cynwyd
Free

In Conversation with the Rosenbach: Emily Wilson

6 p.m. Wednesday, April 4
The Rosenbach, 208 Delancy Pl.
Tickets $15

Moonstone Poetry: Raquel Salas Rivera

Earlier this year, Raquel Salas Rivera was named the 2018-2019 Poet Laureate of Philadelphia. The evening will start with an interview with Salas Rivera, followed by a reading and open mic session.

7 p.m. Wednesday, April 4
Fergie’s Pub, 1214 Sansom St.
Free, 21+

Philly Poet Laureate Raquel Salas Rivera

Tracey K. Smith | Wade in the Water: Poems

The U.S. Poet Laureate will be in town the following night. At the library, Tracey K. Smith, will read selections from her newest collection, Wade in the Water. Tickets are required.

7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 5
Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine St.
Tickets $15

Ursula Rucker: Poetry for the Stage & Camera

7 p.m. Thursday, April 5 (first of three sessions)
Scribe Video Center, 4035 Walnut St.
Registration is $90, and includes three weekly classes

Tire Fire Presents: McAllister, Brady, Perch, & Captan

7 p.m. Thursday, April 5, 7 p.m.
Tattooed Mom, 530 South St.
Free, 21+

Hands-On Tour: Women Poets

3 p.m. Friday, April 6
The Rosenbach, 208 Delancy Pl.
Tickets $15

Marty’s Opening Night- Poetry n More!

7:30 p.m. Friday, April 6
B2 Cafe, 1500 E. Passyunk Ave.
Free

The Philly Pigeon Poetry Slam ft Joel Dias-Porter

8:30 p.m. Friday April 6
PhilaMOCA, 531 N. 12th St.
Tickets $20

LitLife Poetry Conference & Festival

This will be Philadelphia Stories’ fourth time hosting this daylong event, which includes master classes, writing workshops, small-group discussions, a book fair, an open mic and a ton of networking opportunities. Panels include the intersection of poetry and medicine, the connection between poetry and music and the Margins service project. Registration required.

9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 7
Rosemont College, 1400 Montgomery Ave., Bryn Mawr
Registration $47.50-$95

Pen & Pencil Poetry Night

8 p.m. Sunday, April 8
Pen & Pencil Club, 1522 Latimer St.
Free

Monday Poets | Olga Dugan & Amy Barone

6:30 p.m. Monday, April 9
Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine St.
Free

Painted Bride Quarterly presents: Hilbert Stone Shot Woolard Derr-Smith

7:30 p.m. Monday, April 9
Black Sheep Pub, 247 S. 17th St.
Free

A Reading by Poet Eduardo Espina

6 p.m. Tuesday, April 10
Kelly Writers House, 3805 Locust Walk
Free

Voicemail Poems Party

Voicemail Poems is an online publication and podcast founded by jamie j. mortara (who prefers to go all-lowercase). All submissions come through as a voicemail, allowing poets to have their authentic voices heard and recognized. A reading honoring mortara’s book tour will feature poets Zach Blackwood, Faye Marie, Kirwyn Sutherland and Amy Saul-Zerby.

7 p.m. Wednesday, April 11
Wooden Shoe Books, 704 South St.
Free

The Hatchery: Alina Pleskova, Mike Deagler, Daniel Torday

7 p.m Wednesday, April 11
The Monkey Club, 2101 E. York St.
Free

Bibliococktails: Shakespeare’s Sonnets

6 p.m. Friday, April 13
The Rosenbach, 208 Delancy Pl.
Tickets $25, 21+

Warrior Writers Presents: a Writing Workshop for Veterans

As part of the nonprofit Warrior Writers, Rutgers Camden will host a writing workshop for veterans. The event provides a safe space for former service members to create poetry, share stories and feel empowered in their histories. Bonus: The following evening, Warrior Writers will present a poetry reading at the Fine Arts Complex in Camden.

6 p.m. Tuesday, April 17
Rutgers Camden Writers House, Room 102, 305 Cooper St., Camden, NJ
Free, pre-registration required

A Poetry Reading by Jehanne Dubrow

6 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, 6 p.m.
Kelly Writers House, 3805 Locust Walk
Free

“Writing & Teaching the Holocaust in the Age of Trump” with Jehanne Dubrow

Poet Jehanne Dubrow will lead a lunchtime conversation about the relevance of the Holocaust in our current cultural climate. More broadly, this event will also address the sociopolitical import of writing and teaching. To attend, RSVP to wh@writing.upenn.edu or 215-746-POEM.

12 p.m. Thursday, April 19
Kelly Writers House, 3805 Locust Walk
Free with RSVP

Hands-On Tour: Shakespeare the Poet

3 p.m. Friday, April 20
The Rosenbach, 2008 Delancy Pl.
Tickets $15

Journeys Across Imaginary Lines: Creating & Sharing Immigrant Stories

1 p.m. Saturday, April 21
Philadelphia History Museum
Free

Split Lip Press & Friends

7 p.m. Saturday, April 21
Big Blue Marble Bookstore, 551 Carpenter Ln.
Free

2018 Philly Poetry Festival

1 p.m. Sunday, April 22
The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St.
Free

The Annual Maurice English Poetry Reading: Paul Muldoon

5:30 p.m. Monday, April 23
The Rosenbach, 2008 Delancy Pl.
Tickets $15

Gregory Pardlo | Air Traffic: A Memoir of Ambition and Manhood in America with Kevin Young | Brown: Poems

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 24
Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine St.
Ticket $15

Art in the (P)age No. 2

6 p.m. Wednesday, April 25, 6 p.m.
Art in the Age Tasting Room, 116 N. 3rd St.
Free, 21+

Poetry is Not a Luxury: “Notes on the Assemblage”

7 p.m. Wednesday, April 25
Big Blue Marble Bookstore, 551 Carpenter Ln.
Free