April is #NationalPoetryMonth, and while poetry slams, readings, and school-wide events may be cancelled, you can still celebrate poetry at home!

Watch poets/CLiF presenters Rajnii Eddins and Ted Scheu (“That Poetry Guy”) perform their original work.

Poetry Out Loud’s national competition has, of course, been cancelled this year, but they still have a fantastic selection of poetry from hundreds of poets throughout history, as well as those writing and performing today. You can have your own Poetry Out Loud performance at home: have each family member choose a poem, practice, and perform it for the whole family. If someone prefers not to perform, they can be the judge.

The Poetry Foundation also has a huge collection of poetry for children and adults. Start your day by reading a poem together! You can also revisit children’s favorite poets, like Shel Silverstein, Jack Prelutsky, and A.A. Milne.

We have lots of fun poetry ideas on our website. Here are a few of our favorites:

Book Spine Poetry

Use books on your shelf to make up poems using the titles. See the above poem as an example:

Behold the dreamers, the giver of stars,
the risen. There, there.
All my puny sorrows, safe as houses
Sing, unburied, sing.

See what you can come up with!

Found Object Poetry

Find an object around the house; it can be anything. Write a poem about it. What’s the object’s backstory? How did it come to be in your house? Where else might it be found? What does the object look like, smell like, sound like, feel like? Try writing a poem in the perspective of the object. You can all write about the same object and see how many different poems you can create.

Paint Chip Poetry

Have paint chips laying around? Use them to come up with as many words or phrases about each color as you can. Think of how each color makes you feel and what it reminds you of. Then write a poem using all of those words or phrases.

Blackout Poetry

Take old magazines or newspaper articles. Create a new poem using the existing text. Use a Sharpie to black out all the words except the ones you want to use in your poem.

Share your poems with the whole family! Happy writing!

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