about the celebration
Established in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets, National Poetry Month is the largest poetry celebration in the world. The concept is to widen the attention of individuals and the media—to the art of poetry, to living poets, to our complex poetic heritage, and to poetry books and journals of wide aesthetic range and concern. We hope to increase the visibility and availability of poetry in popular culture while acknowledging and celebrating poetry’s ability to sustain itself in the many places where it is practiced and appreciated.
Why April? In coordination with poets, booksellers, librarians, and teachers, we chose a month when poetry could be celebrated with the highest level of participation. Inspired by the successful celebrations of Black History Month (February) and Women's History Month (March), and on the advice of teachers and librarians, April seemed the best time within the year to turn attention toward the art of poetry—in an ultimate effort to encourage poetry readership year-round.
The goals of National Poetry Month are to highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets, to introduce more Americans to the pleasures of reading poetry, to bring poets and poetry to the public in immediate and innovative ways, to make poetry a more important part of the school curriculum, to increase the attention paid to poetry by national and local media, to encourage increased publication, distribution, and sales of poetry books, and to increase public and private philanthropic support for poets and poetry.
National Poetry Month is just one of our many programs.