April showers bring May flowers…and also meter, verse and rhyme. Inaugurated in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets, National Poetry Month is held each April. The mission of this 30-day campaign is to promote poetry as a living art form, as well as remember our poetic heritage. Much of our oldest surviving literature — including epic works like The Odyssey, Beowulf, and Gilgamesh — are recorded in poetic verse. Likewise, today’s hip hop artists like Kendrick Lamar win praise for composing complex rhymes and delivering them with a melodic flow.

We celebrate National Poetry Month with a poetry-writing contest for teens and adults. Now in its sixteenth year, our 2014 contest runs through April 22 (which also happens to be Earth Day).

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