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30 Days of Poetry 2023

Calling all poets and poetry lovers! April is National Poetry Month, and we're celebrating with your favorite poems every day of the month. Join us here or on social media every day of April to enjoy the latest!

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April 1

"The New York Society Library"
by ChatGPT, shared by Carolyn Waters

April 2

"Renaus and his friend"
Anonymous 12th-Century French: "Chanson de Toile" sung by women weavers in Medieval France. Quoted in The Romance of the Rose of Jean Renart, circa 1240. Water-based woodcut, translated, printed, and shared by Paul Werner. (For a larger view, open the image in a new browser tab.)

April 3

A tribute to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Feminism, and Womanism - Hosted by James Browning Kepple and Bob McNeil
with performances by Aurynanya (Kimberly Ellis), Eva Marie Ann Cagley, Queen Mother Imakhu (Elaine Lloyd-Nazario), Dr. Brenita Mitchell, Dr. Anita Caprice, and Jenny Middleton
shared by Bob McNeil

April 4

"Steps" by Susana Case

This poem is included in Ms. Case's book If This Isn't Love, forthcoming fall 2023 from Broadstone Books. SusanaHCase.com

April 5

Yesterday we had a visit from poet A.E. Stallings, who inscribed a copy of her collection LIKE to the Library. Here's her poem about a pencil. (For a larger view, open the image in a new browser tab.)

April 6

Betsy Hulick shares her own "Blowing Out the Candles."

April 7

James Melo mentions that he wrote this springtime poem "while walking the grounds of the New York Botanical Garden in the dead of winter and seeing the magnolia buds ready to burst into flower when spring arrived."

April 8

Enjoy this single sonnet by Edna St. Vincent Millay, read by Andrea Terrasa - or learn more in our full event from April 4, with Daniel Mark Epstein.

April 9

Welcome the season with "Dandelion Spring," written and shared by Louis Cutrona.

April 10

"Somewhere Between Yes and No" by Chris(tina) Daub

April 11

In New York City we want to be green...but many of us have the problem humorously described by Robert Ferraro in "The Bag Man."

April 12

"Cri du Chat" by Stephanie Laterza appears in her new book coming out this fall.

April 13

Our poetry-writing group with Esther Cohen meets this afternoon, April 13 and here Marialuisa Monda shares a poem that she was inspired to write at their last meeting.

This sunny afternoon (in NYC) enjoy "A Green Crab's Shell" by Mark Doty, recommended to us by Molly Gayley. Lots of Doty in the Library's collection

April 14

Enjoy "A Poem for The Man Who Spoke So Quietly and for So Long into The Carpark Intercom," poem and photograph by Jenny Middleton.

April 15

The Crash of 1929 - A Century On by Robert Roth, with Hendrik van Oordt and Lotte van den Dikkenberg. A thoughtful evocation of the start of the Great Depression in words, images, and music.

April 16

This morning, enjoy "At the Spring Dawn" by Angelina Weld Grimké, shared by Library staffer Randi Levy. She comments, "When searching for a poem to share here I was struck by "At the Spring Dawn," featured in Legacy by Nikki Grimes and written by Harlem Renaissance journalist, playwright, and poet Angelina Weld Grimké, for its vivid portrait-in-words of this season's earliest mornings."

And continuing the nature theme, Helen Bournas-Ney shares her own "Walking into Someone Else's Garden."

April 17

Alexandra Napier shares her own poem "Fontanelle."

And have a lovely peaceful moment courtesy of "Peace Is Calling" by Carletta Joy Walker.

April 18

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day, and today's poem is written and shared by Holly Woodward, inspired by Anne Frank. 

April 19

Nancy Matsumoto shares "The Gifted Child" by Lorna Crozier. She remarks, "Spending most of my time in Canada now, I've been getting to know the work of Canada's many fine poets. Lorna Crozier, who was born in Saskatchewan and has served as writer in residence at the University of Toronto, is one of my favorites."

April 20

A profound middle-of-the-night question created and shared by Carl Sherman: "The Water Bug: An Elegy"

Jim Story shares the poem "Boom!" by Howard Nemerov.

April 21

Christina Daub shares her poem "To Be In New York" - and we appreciate her comment: "One of favorite memories of growing up in New York City was going to the New York Society Library, a refuge, an inspiration, a library I never wanted to leave."

April 22

Frank Beck shares his translation of "Al soneto con mi alma [To the sonnet, with all my heart]" by Juan Ramón Jiménez. He mentions that the poet was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1956. (Portrait from Wikimedia Commons.)

And here's a beloved classic by William Carlos Williams, shared by Margery Quackenbush.

April 23

Enjoy Laura Rocklyn's reading of "The Poet" by 19th-century American Transcendentalist Ellen Sturgis Hooper.

April 24

"Retrospective, Agnes Martin" comes from Susan Barba's book Geode: Poems and was shared by Christina Barba.

This afternoon's poem is written and shared by Thomas Donohue.

April 25

This morning it's "In Rhythm On A Prairie," created and shared by Carletta Joy Walker

This afternoon, the beautiful "Fern Hill" by Dylan Thomas, shared by Mercer Warriner.

April 26

Today Marilyn Mazur shares her poem "Mad Tom."

April 27

Jane Simon shares "Days," one of her favorite poems by poet and librarian Philip Larkin (left), alongside her own version (right).

This afternoon, our own poetry workshop leader Esther Cohen shares "How We Found Our Real Estate Lawyer."

April 28

Computer angst compliments of Mr. James (It’s a Botheration) and Mr. Dylan (Desolation Row) and poet Rachelle Bijou.

And enjoy "You Matter" by Rima Roy.

April 29

This morning, a musical moment of contemplation for the suffering in Ukraine.

A beautiful reading by Jan C. Grossman of her poem "What She Sees in the Diorama."

April 30

On the final day of the month, we're touched by this tribute from Library member Richard Holt - a participant in one of the Library's many writing groups - including an indelible quote from Mary Oliver's "Instructions for Living a Life."

As we close this year's 30 Days of Poetry, get inspired to keep writing and make your voice heard with these eloquent words from Bob McNeil, "A pertinacious philosophy." Bob McNeil, writer, editor, cartoonist, and spoken word artist, is the author of Verses of Realness.