Looking forward to National Poetry Month

The month long celebration of verse is just two months away, and as I’m planning events for the library, I’m getting more and more excited about it. As a poetry enthusiast, I’ve recently been trying to find ways to incorporate poetry in the library setting. Besides a display I created a couple of years ago, this is the first year that I’ve worked at the Lawrence library in which I think a lot of attention will be brought to it. The programming librarian and I are working with the Lawrence Arts Center on a series of events titled “Poetry Off the Page,” which will include readings, Speed Poetry installations and “guerrilla poetry” sightings.

For presentations and poetry readings, I’m looking forward to bringing KU doctoral candidate and self-proclaimed “poetry freak,” Mark Hennessy, and Kansas Poet Laureate, Dr. Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, to the library in April. These events will be in addition to our normal monthly Poetry Social and a Poetry Slam. I’m also working on developing computer lab classes that will teach patrons and poets how to make a chapbook using Microsoft Publisher and where to find places to publish their work on the web. Once we get all the details figured out, we’ll have the list of events on the Lawrence Public Library’s web site.

For the April display I put up two years ago, I made a pretty simple sign and pulled poetry related titles from the collection. Then, with the help of our foundation director, we borrowed a couple of mannequins from the nearby Gap location, dressed them up in “hispter-ish” clothing and stuffed their pockets full of poems we encouraged people to take for Poetry in Your Pocket Day. Though I’m unsure of how many poems were actually taken, I do know that the mannequins attracted lots of double takes and attention. I haven’t taken the time to think about this April’s display, but I’m hoping I can come up with something just as eye catching!

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