“April is the cruelest month” according to T.S. Elliot in “The Wasteland”, but for poets across the US, it’s also one of the happiest because it’s National Poetry Month. Birmingham is joining in the celebration with several activities for poets and readers alike.
1. Watch Magic City Poetry Festival’s events
One of the biggest local organizations celebrating National Poetry Month is the Magic City Poetry Festival. The MCPF is one of Birmingham’s most popular poetry organizations, and it works to bring a love and reverence for poetry to the community through readings, conversations and other events.
This year, the Magic City Poetry Festival is hosting several free Zoom events organized by Birmingham native and poetic tour de force Ashley M. Jones.
- April 6, 7PM: Magic City Conversations: Rachel Eliza Griffiths and Khalisa Rae
- April 11, 7PM: All Around Alabama Inaugural Reading: Jason McCall, Kimberly Casey, and Jacqueline Trimble
- April 27, 6PM: Write to Heal Workshop with Salaam Green
- April 29, 6PM: MCPF & Bham Stands Open Mic Reading
2. Visit a local book store
Birmingham is full of excellent local bookstores to visit as part of National Poetry Month. They all feature great local works, including lots of poetry from Magic City authors. Check out books like Ashley M. Jones’ Magic City Gospel, Emma Bolden’s House is an Enigma, and copies of the Birmingham Poetry Review.
- Thank You Books
- Church Street Coffee and Books
- Burdock Book Collective
- Jim Reed Books
- Alabama Booksmith
- The Little Professor
- Books, Beans & Candles
See the full list of Birmingham bookstores in this Bham Now guide.
3. Read work by local poets
Birmingham has some great local poets who are active in the local poetry community. One of the best ways to celebrate National Poetry Month is to purchase and read a book by a local poet.
Check out some of Birmingham’s great poets below:
- Ashley M. Jones
- Brian Voice Porter Hawkins
- Alina Stefanescu
- Salaam Green
- Tina Mozelle Braziel
- Emma Bolden
- Alesha Dawson
- Matt Layne
- And Bham Now’s own Caroline Barr
Find more Birmingham authors and poets in this Bham Now article.
4. Check out other upcoming poetry events
Thanks to COVID, there aren’t a ton of local poetry and spoken word events happening right now. But the Birmingham area still has a couple upcoming slam events to enjoy. Check out two additional upcoming events below:
- April 17, 7PM: Windy City Rhymes featuing Hoodraised
- April 29, 8PM: Anniston Vibes Spoken Word Open Mic Night
Know of more poetry events happening for National Poetry Month? Send them our way @bhamnnow.
5. Get involved in local poetry organizations
Birmingham has plenty of local poetry organizations, all of which are great to support this April in honor of National Poetry Month. Particularly during COVID, these organizations can all use a little extra support. Each organization supports writer and the literary scene here in the Birmingham area.
Want to learn more about poetry in Birmingham? Check out these Bham Now stories:
- 5 Birmingham bookstores share their recommendations for National Poetry Day, Oct. 3
- 7 inspirational Birmingham poets who need to be on your radar
- Haiku road signs are popping up—we found one in Birmingham