April is Poetry Month

Just by chance I came across this poster in the library, by the Academy of American Poets, promoting April as National Poetry Month. The poster features a handwritten message on a frosted window with the words “Do I dare disturb the universe?” (a line from a T. S. Eliot poem).

Academy of American Poets, National Poetry Month poster for 2009. Designed by Paul Sahre.

Designed by Paul Sahre.

This prompted me to think about the resources we have here at Bank Street that might help inspire and awaken the poet within all of us.

The best way to find poetry resources is good old fashioned browsing in the J 811 section of the library. If you are looking for anthologies, search the online catalog using subject alphabetical and “poetry collections.” You’ll notice in your result list that titles often include collected by, selected by, or edited by. Something else you might want to look at is haiku.

If you want to get deeper into poetry check out some of the graduate theses compiled on this topic, at last count there were 49 (tip: type “poetry” into the online catalog’s search box – leave it as general keyword, on the results page select theses in the limit by box).

Up-to-date recommendations on poetry books for children can be found in recent editions of the Children’s Book Committee  “The Best Children’s Books of the Year.” There’s always a section on poetry along with suggested age levels. You can find these in the reference area of the library.

One more resource is Lisa’s (our children’s librarian at large) “Try on Poem for Size” webpage in the Library’s Index A-Z. Finally, have a look at the Academy of American Poets Flickr photo stream for some interesting ways poets are sharing their work.

Reference librarian at Bank Street College Library.

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