5 ways to celebrate National Poetry Month in Birmingham

ashley m jones magic city poetry festival
Check out these great ways to support local poets during National Poetry Month. Photo via Magic City Poetry Festival

“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

magic city poetry festival
The Magic City Poetry Festival is one of Birmingham’s favorite poetry organizations. Photo via Magic City Poetry Festival

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.

Find the MCPF at their website and on Instagram and Facebook.

2. Visit a local book store

Check out Thank You Books, recently featured in the New York Times for their Harry Styles-as-book covers Instagram series. Photo via Beth Cunningham for Bham Now

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.

See the full list of Birmingham bookstores in this Bham Now guide.

3. Read work by local poets

brian voice porter hawkins
Birmingham’s own Brian Voice Porter Hawkins. Photo by Sharron Swain for Bham Now

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:

Find more Birmingham authors and poets in this Bham Now article.

4. Check out other upcoming poetry events

Birmingham, Birmingham Public Library, libraries, poetry
Poetry in Birmingham. Photo via Birmingham Public Library

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:

Know of more poetry events happening for National Poetry Month? Send them our way @bhamnnow.

5. Get involved in local poetry organizations

girl reading disco
A student at Desert Island Supply Co. reads her work at one of the organization’s programs. Photo via DISCO Birmingham’s Facebook

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:

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Claire Hancock
Claire Hancock
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