World Poetry Day with a scroll and quills

World Poetry Day 2024

| Burlington County Library

There are so many reasons to celebrate World Poetry Day on March 21 – and all year long, too! Started by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Poetry Day is a celebration of our shared humanity and values, no matter the country or background. It’s also a great time to become well-versed in poetry!

Poetry is an art form that transcends age, genre and even stylistic norms. Prose has the power to touch our hearts, make us cry and lighten our mood all in the same breath. Anyone from any age group can pick up poetry as a means of communication, self-reflection, expression, or simply just for fun.

BCLS offers a collection of more than 500 books of poetry, including books about how to write it, and the works of poets from all walks of life.  Get immersed in all things poetic this month!

 Adult Poetry

The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson edited by Thomas H. Johnson
This is a comprehensive collection of the poet’s work, published after her death. Unlike early publications, these poems are unedited and show the experimental brilliance of her writing.

Clarity & Connection by Yung Pueblo
This is an exceptional collection of poetry for anyone overcoming trauma and mental health issues. In this, his second published collection, readers will discover how to grow by releasing past wounds.

Indecency by Justin Phillip Reed
In this collection of poems, Reed explores the themes of inequity and injustice, and critiques on the culture perpetuating those issues at large.

Weaving Sundown in a Scarlet Light: Fifty Poems for Fifty Years by Joy Harjo

Celebrating her 50 years as a poet, this collection by the three-term US Poet Laureate features 50 of her best poems. Find a poem for every occasion from motherhood to resistance, with notes from Harjo.

Youth Poetry

I Remember: Poems and Pictures of Heritage compiled by Lee Bennett Hopkins
This collection of works by 14 poets and 16 illustrators shares memorable moments from their childhoods as diverse people in the United States. With contributions from authors such as Kwame Alexander and Naomi Shihab Nye, the writers reflect on the heritages and traditions within their families.

Love That Dog by Sharon Creech
This narrative told through free-verse poetry is about a boy finding his passion for poetry and writing his own with the help of a dog and his teacher. 

I Am the Book compiled by Lee Bennett Hopkins
This collection of 13 poems inspires young readers to use their imagination to the fullest.

Maya’s Song by Reneé Watson
In this beautiful picture book, Watson uses poetry to narrate the rich life of Maya Angelou. Children will learn about Angelou’s many groundbreaking accomplishments while being dazzled by Bryan Collier’s illustrations.

Get Started Writing Your Own

Poetry 101: From Shakespeare and Rupi Kaur to Iambic Pentameter and Blank Verse, Everything You Need to Know About Poetry by Susan Dalzell
This poetry-centric addition to Dalzell’s 101 series, this book is a companion for your journey into poetry, exploring different methods and styles from notable poets and how to begin writing your own.

Singing School: Learning to Write (and Read) Poetry by Studying with the Masters by Robert Pinsky
This is a collection of works from notable poets, and an analysis into what made them so enduring and how they were crafted. Instead of learning from strict rules, Pinsky emphasizes the importance of learning directly from great works. 

How to Write a Poem by Kwame Alexander and Deanna Nikaido; art by Melissa Sweet
This picture book shows young readers how to write poetry by paying attention to what’s going on in the world and using that imagery to create poetry.

Jabberwalking by Juan Felipe Herrera
Former US Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera shares how to write poetry by seeing through the eyes of a poet. An excellent resource for middle grade readers, it shows how to become a jabberwalking poet by opening your eyes and mind to the world around you.


Audience: Adult Seniors Family
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