Celebrate Poetry Month!

April is National Poetry Month!  What better way to celebrate than by exploring the works of different poets?  Here are a few to get you started:

William Shakespeare: Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564.  There are few records from this time, and little is known about Shakespeare's life before he signed on with a theatrical group that became first the Lord Chamberlain's Men, and later the King's Men... Read More
Margaret Atwood: Atwood earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Toronto and her master's degree from Harvard.  Though perhaps best known today for her prose, Atwood's first publications were poetry... Read More

Howard Nemerov: Nemerov showed an early fascination with the arts.  He earned a bachelor's degree from Harvard in 1941 and joined the U.S. Air Force during WWII.  After the war, he returned to New York with his wife and began what was to become a lifelong career teaching career.  Read More

Maya Angelou: Maya Angelou grew up in Missouri and Arkansas.  Her childhood was far from charmed, as she recounts in the first and best known volume of her autobiography... Read More

Basho: Born in 1644 near Kyoto, Japan, Matsuo Kinsaku, later known as Basho, gained his early appreciation for literature while in the service of the son of a local lord...Read More

Fleda Brown: After earning her doctorate in English from the University of Arkansas, in 1978 she took a position at the University of Delaware, where, she created the Poets in the Schools program, which introduced children in local schools to poetry with the help of graduate student poets...Read More
Nikki Giovanni: Born in 1943, in Knoxville, Tennessee, Giovanni grew up in a family of storytellers.  She was especially close to her grandmother, who taught young Giovanni a great appreciation for her African American heritage...Read More
Pablo Neruda: Born Ricardo Eliezer Neftali Reyes y Basoalto, Neruda hailed from the countryside near Temuco, a city in southern Chile.  He was a prolific writer even at a young age.  By the time he graduated from high school, he had already adopted the pseudonym that would later become his legal name, and was publishing poetry in local newspapers and winning writing contests as Pablo Neruda...Read More
Billy Collins:  Despite growing up in the big city, Collins' poetry, as he describes it, is “suburban, it’s domestic, it’s middle class, and it’s sort of unashamedly that.”  It's a style that's made Collins one of the most popular poets in America, though he wasn't an immediate success...Read More
Jack Prelutsky: Prelutsky had no youthful aspirations of being a poet, much less a prolific and much-loved children's poet.  In fact, he was less than fond of school in general, and, thanks to an unenthusiastic teacher, he had a particular dislike of poetry.  He says his teacher "left me with the impression that poetry was the literary equivalent of liver. I was told it was good for me, but I wasn’t convinced." ...Read More 
Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Browning was educated at home, and was something of a literary prodigy, devouring works by Shakespeare and other great writers before she'd even turned ten!  By twelve she was already writing poetry and expanding on her studies.  A devout Christian, she taught herself Hebrew in her teens so she could study the Old Testament...Read More
Kay Ryan: Her writing is unique among contemporary poets, tightly crafted and distilled, structured with rhyme, and candidly witty.  Her works reflect years of intense thought and consideration.  Unlike poetry based in imagery, for Ryan, the thought patterns her poems create as she writes them, and as readers experience them, is the true inspiration...Read More