National Poetry Month | 2018

National Poetry Month (NPM) is the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K-12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, bloggers, and, of course, poets marking poetry’s important place in our culture and our lives every April.

In 2016 Connect2Culture, Post Art Library, and Pub Hound Press began an intentional collective effort to celebrate NPM in Joplin and 2018 marks the third year of Joplin’s official celebration. NPM mainstays were collected (such as Spiva’s 1,000 Words Event) and the committee rounded out the lineup by adding new poetry-centric events (such as Open Mic Poetry Night)Take a look at this year’s lineup below and join in the poetry-fun!

Monday, April 16 | Downtown Poetry Reading
6:00–8:00pm at Joplin Avenue Coffee Company (506 S Joplin Ave)
April’s Downtown Poetry reading will feature students from both Missouri Southern State University and Pittsburg State University Creative Writing Departments. Open mic sign-up begins at 6:00pm. Featured poets begin at 6:15pm. Open mic begins at 7:00pm. This event occurs on the 3rd Monday of each month. For more information, contact Allison Blevins at ablevins@pittstate.edu

Tuesday, April 17 | 1,000 Words Event
6:30pm at Spiva Center for the Arts (222 W 3rd St)
PhotoSpiva 2018 serves as inspiration for the 10th annual 1000 Words event. Writers are invited to pick a photo or two as a springboard for poetry or prose. The public reading will be held on April 17, 6:30pm. Free admission. Donations welcome. Sign up to participate by emailing sconroy@spivaarts.org.

Thursday, April 19 | Joplin’s Poem In Your Pocket Day at Third Thursday
5:30–8:30pm at Connect2Culture’s Booth (5th & Main St)
On Poem in Your Pocket Day, people celebrate by selecting a poem, carrying it with them, and sharing it with others throughout the day at schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, and on Twitter using the hashtag #pocketpoem. Although the “national” Poem In Your Pocket Day is April 26th this year, we’ve decided to celebrate a bit early by distributing pocket poems at Third Thursday! Swing by and pick up a poem for your pocket at Connect2Culture’s info booth. Choose a poem, carry it with you, and share it with others!

Thursday, April 19 | TRADECRAFT: Veteran Poetry Reading & Workshop
6:00–8:00pm at Spiva Center for the Arts (222 W 3rd St)
In partnership with Compass Quest Veteran Services, Spiva presents a poetry workshop and reading. All veterans are welcome. For details, contact Aaron Skapik at askapik@spivaarts.org or 417.623.0183. Free and open to the public.

Thursday, April 26 | Poem In Your Pocket Day, All-Day at Everywhere!
On Poem in Your Pocket Day, people celebrate by selecting a poem, carrying it with them, and sharing it with others throughout the day at schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, and online using the hashtag #pocketpoem. pocket poems will be available at various venues throughout Joplin!

Thursday, April 26 | Open Mic Poetry Night
7:00pm at Joplin Empire Market (931 E 4th Street)
Do you write poetry? Do you love poetry? Come recite a poem you’ve written OR one by a poet you love. Feel free to bring some craft beer or a bottle of wine to share. This is a 21+ event. Free admission. This event is a collaborative endeavor between Connect2Culture, Post Art Library, and Pub Hound Press. For more information, call 417.625.6683.

Monday, April 30 | Polyphony
7:00pm at MSSU Spiva Library Belk Quiet Room, Rm 413 (3950 E Newman Rd)
Polyphony is a reading by Missouri Southern State University Creative Writing Faculty. Readers this year are Bill Kumbier, Dustin Faulstick, Brad Modlin, Michael Howarth, and Joey Brown. Cash donations for the Saltzman Visiting Writers Series, which will be used to bring visiting writers and poets to MSSU and Joplin, will be accepted.

This year’s “partners in poetry”…

Click here to download the official National Poetry Month in Joplin, MO poster.