In years past, Bainbridge Island has celebrated National Poetry Month with Arts & Humanities Bainbridge’s Poetry Vibes event, which has showcased the voices of the island’s young poets. In October 2022 AHB and the City of Bainbridge Island announced the appointment of our first Poet Laureate, Michele Bombardier. For National Poetry Month 2023, the island is pulling out all the stops with multiple events throughout the month.

POETRY CORNERS – April 1st through 30th. Now in its 24thyear, Poetry Corners is an annual exhibit of poster-sized poems on display throughout downtown Winslow. This year, 48 poems by Bainbridge Islanders grace storefront windows throughout the downtown Bainbridge Island corridor and at the Bainbridge Public Library. For additional information on venues and poems, visit:

PLUM’S ANNUAL HAIKU COMPETITION!– April 1st through 30th. Entries are on display in the lights above the Plum deck throughout April.

ARS POETICA – On Wednesday, April 12th, from 7pm – 9pm at the Bainbridge Island Senior/Community Center, the Bainbridge Island Photo Club will be hosting an Ars Poetica event featuring poets reading their selected poems with the Bainbridge Island Photo Club photographers presenting their inspired reflective photographs.This is a free community event and all are welcome. BISCC is located at 370 Brien Avenue SE, Bainbridge Island.

Throughout the month of April, an exhibit of Ars Poetica printed photographs with selected poems will be displayed in the entry way of the Bainbridge Island Senior Community Center, 370 Brien Ave SE, Bainbridge Island. This is a free public viewing event.

ADDITIONAL ARS POETICA EVENTS – During the open submission period, the Ars Poetica Committee, which consist of poets and artists from local counties, collect poetry from residents of Kitsap, Mason, Jefferson counties, Gig Harbor, and Key Peninsulas. They are then organized into a manuscript and sent to participating galleries. The galleries share the manuscript with their artist collectives, where the poems are read, and if they feel inspired by a poem, they choose it and create a piece of original artwork to pair with the poem.

In the month of April, the following galleries will hold a live event where the artist is able to present their artwork along with the poem. All events are free and open to the public.

  • April 8th at 5:30-8:30pm – Rimbert Illustrations, 617 N. Callow Avenue, Bremerton
  • April 16th at 2pm – Front Street Gallery, 18881-A Front St. Ne, Poulsbo
  • April 15th 1 – 3pm – Cafe Corvo, 629 N. Callow Avenue, Bremerton
  • April 23rd 1pm – Collective Visions Gallery, 331 Pacific Avenue, Bremerton

BOMB! April Open Mic at BARN. April 20th, from 7 – 8:30pm. Bainbridge Island Poet Laureate Michele Bombardier hosts a free open mic with featured poet Tara Hardy. Tara’s book,My, My, My, My, My,won the 2017 Washington State Book Award for Poetry. Tara has worked in social justice movements most of her life and currently teaches for University Beyond Bars, Hugo House, and The Evergreen State College. Her poetry explores the impact of trauma and illness on our bodies and creative selves. She identifies as LGBTQ and disabled.

Open Mic to the public with everyone (ages 14 and up) welcome. Sign-up to read (maximum 4 minutes) beginning at 6:45pm. BARN is located at 8890 Three Tree Lane NE, Bainbridge Island.

WRITING POETRY 101 – April 22nd at 2pm at the Bainbridge Public Library. Bainbridge Island Poet Laureate Michele Bombardier presents a free poetry writing workshop. Participants are encouraged to bring pen, notebook, and a willingness to write to offered prompts. Sharing new work will be optional and very minimal: only an occasional line or phrase.

Michele will give a talk about aspects of writing poetry with a focus on generating versus editing. She will provide poems as models with various prompts. Poets of all levels are welcome as well as those who have not written poetry but might like to. Participants will leave the workshop with several baby poems to cultivate. Advance registration is not required. BPL is located at 1270 Madison Avenue N, Bainbridge Island.

AN EVENING WITH BILLY COLLINSApril 29th at 6:30pm at the Bainbridge High School Theater, presented by Bainbridge Performing Arts. BPA will host an evening with former two-time Poet Laureate of the United States Billy Collins as he takes the stage for his first Pacific Northwest event in over five years. Collins is an American poet, appointed asPoet Laureate of the United Statesfrom 2001 to 2003.He was Distinguished Professor atLehman Collegeof theCity University of New York, and was recognized as a Literary Lion of theNew York Public Libraryin 1992, as well as being selected as the New York State Poet for 2004 through 2006. He was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2016.

Tickets are $30 at A limited number of $100 tickets for a post-reading reception with Billy Collins (to benefit the Buxton Center for Bainbridge Performing Arts renovation) are also available.

Please Note: This event does not take place at BPA or at its temporary venue inside Bainbridge Cinemas, but instead will be hosted at the Bainbridge High School Theater at 9330 High School Rd NE, Bainbridge Island. The post-reading Golden Circle reception takes place at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art at 550 Winslow Way E, Bainbridge Island.

POETRY CORNERS LIVE READING AND POETRY JOURNAL SALE – May 6th at 5pm – The Poetry Corners poets will be doing a free reading and poetry journal sale at Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, located at 550 Winslow Way East, Bainbridge Island. The poetry journal will also be available at Eagle Harbor Books and other participating retailers.


ARS POETICA and the West Sound Arts Communities – Launched in 2011, the West Sound Arts Community fused the creative talents in Kitsap, Mason and Jefferson counties into the event titled Ars Poetica. In celebration of National Poetry Month, gallery events displaying the poems with the artwork are held throughout the month of April.

Nancy Rekow, founder of the Bainbridge Island Writers Workshop with Bainbridge High School English teacher, drama coach & poet, Bob McAllister, began hosting Ars Poetica in 2011. This year Ars Poetica coordinator Tamarah Rockwood brings her exceptional arts events organizational skills to celebrate the 2023 West Sound Arts Community Ars Poetica.

Ars Poetica has become an annual West Sound Arts community tradition, merging creative talents of poets and artists. Each year, the Ars Poetica committee collects and juries hundreds of submitted poems. The juried poems are sent to participating galleries and art collectives. Participating artists from each gallery read the poems, select the poem that most inspires them, then create a unique piece of artwork to reflect the poem.

From long-time Bainbridge Island poet John Davis’s introduction of Michele Bombardier at the City of Bainbridge Island Reception on March 3, 2023:

“Poetry is a way of taking life by the throat.”
“Poetry is eternal graffiti written in the heart of everyone.”
No matter how you say it,
“Poetry is emotion, passion, love and grief and not for zombies by zombies.”

Thousands, hundreds of thousands, maybe even a million poems have been written on Bainbridge Island. Poets are not so much strict historians as they are cultural historians, artists who dare to express themselves. Poetry helps us better understand our feelings and emotions. Our brains are attuned to the rhyme and rhythm in poetry. Bainbridge Island has a rich history from a grass roots level.

In the late 70s Bob McAlistair introduced a poetry writing workshop. Nancy Rekow* was one of his students. Being organized and aggressive, she helped carry the workshop for many years. She instituted the Northwest Poets and Artists calendar. Some of us escorted middle schoolers to Seattle to read their poetry on KRAB radio. Our April display of Poetry Corners was introduced and still thrives today. Poetry banners once adorned the walk-on ramp for the ferry. For many years San Carlos Restaurant held a well-attended poetry reading. Karen Perry made documentary films of the readings and presented them at the Lynwood Theater during the Celluloid Bainbridge Film Festival. Sidewalk art poetry projects were installed along High School Road. Poetry was displayed at the swimming pool. Individuals, including John Willson, held poetry writing workshops. David Guterson held a writing workshop with local writers at the library.

Linda Bierds is a nationally known poet. Other nationally known poets have read on Bainbridge including Sherman Alexie, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Billy Collins. Billy Collins twice filled the high school gymnasium with over two thousand listeners hanging on his words.

Let us write about Mac’s Tavern, the Kell-In Drive-in, the mochi festival, the focaccia bread at Town and Country, the coyotes and deer, and the bear that swam to our island. Why not discover our own rhythms. And why not have a Poet Laureate to help us celebrate and encourage others. (John Davis – March 3, 2023)

“The goals of National Poetry Month are to: highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets, encourage the reading of poems, assist teachers in bringing poetry into their classrooms, increase the attention paid to poetry by national and local media, and encourage increased publication and distribution of poetry books, andencourage support for poets and poetry. Why was April chosen for National Poetry Month? In coordination with poets, booksellers, librarians, and teachers, we chose a month when poetry could be celebrated with the highest level of participation.” – Tamarah Rockwood, Committee Member of Ars Poetica and owner of Bainbridge Island Press – (

*Nancy Rekow, who passed away this in February, was a renown Bainbridge Island and Kitsap County poet. In addition to her award-winning poetry, Nancy was awarded an Island Treasure award in 2018. If you’d like to learn more about her, click here.

Images and information courtesy of Kathleen Thorne, Poet Laureate Steering Committee Member and Tamarah Rockwood of Ars Poetica and Bainbridge Island Press. Billy Collins image provided by BPA. Michele Bombardier image used with permission from Nancy Treder of the Bainbridge Review and provided by Kathleen Thorne.

If you’d like to read more articles from The Island Wanderer Blog website, click here, to subscribe to The Island Wanderer Blog, click here.

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What do you do for National Poetry Month? ›

Organize a reading of your students reading original or favorite poems out loud. Ask each student to create an anthology of their favorite poems. Show your students these poets' definitions of the word poetry and ask them to provide their own. Decorate your learning environment with the National Poetry Month poster.

Who is the poet laureate of Bainbridge Island? ›

Michele Bombardier is Bainbridge Island's inaugural Poet Laureate. Arts & Humanities Bainbridge and the City of Bainbridge Island are pleased to announce the appointment of Michele Bombardier as Bainbridge Island's inaugural Poet Laureate.

What is National Poetry Month background? ›

National Poetry Month was established in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets to celebrate the amazing wealth of emotion, humor and human experience found in poetry. Held every April, it is the largest literary celebration in the world.

Is there a National Poetry Month? ›

New York, NY (March 30, 2023)—Saturday, April 1 marks the beginning of the 27th annual National Poetry Month, an occasion established by the Academy of… New York, NY (March 28, 2023)—Eduardo C. Corral has selected Sara Daniele Rivera's manuscript The Blue Mimes as the recipient of the 2023 Academy of…

How to celebrate World Poetry Day 2023? ›

It is a global event celebrated on March 21st every year all over the world in order to honor the poets to continue to instill the tradition in newer generations. The World Poetry Day 2023 celebrates poetry, recitals, music, and other forms of cultural entertainment including theatre, dance, painting, and writing.

What is theme for National Poetry Day 2023? ›

World Poetry Day 2023- Theme

The theme for this year is "Always a Poet, Even in Prose."

Who is the most famous poet laureate? ›

Alfred, Lord Tennyson: A*

The poet laureate par excellence. He looks like a beardy old Victorian to us, but Tennyson was a rock star of his time. His poetry is technically virtuosic, but eminently accessible (even to modern readers).

Who is the youngest US poet laureate? ›

Amanda Gorman is the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history, as well as an award-winning writer and cum laude graduate of Harvard University, where she studied Sociology.

Who turned down poet laureate? ›

In the past, the laureateship has been officially refused on three occasions: by Thomas Gray in 1757, by Sir Walter Scott in 1813, and by Samuel Rogers in 1850.

What is the name of the longest poem in the world? ›

Some believe that the Mahabharata was originally narrated by Vyasa, who is said to be the greatest sage (really wise person) in the history of Hinduism and that the poem was written down by Ganesha (Hindu god of new beginnings). The term 'Mahabharata' itself translates to 'the great tale of the Bhārata dynasty'.

What is the oldest poetry festival? ›

Starting around the end of August, Struga Poetry Evenings is crowning the Macedonian cultural scene for the summer. Established back in 1961 it is perhaps the oldest international poetry festival.

What is the national poet called? ›

The poet laureate is typically appointed between June and August, and his or her official term typically lasts from September to April. The poet laureate may be appointed to a second term by the Librarian of Congress.

What to do on National Poetry Day? ›

Celebrate National Poetry Day
  • Read a poem. We will be showcasing a selection of poems on the National Poetry Day theme to get you inspired. ...
  • Write a poem. ...
  • Share a poem. ...
  • Find an event near you. ...
  • Take part in the BBC Teach Live Lesson. ...
  • Put on a poetry reading or event. ...
  • Create a display. ...
  • Visit your local library or bookshop.

Does anyone still read poetry? ›

Nearly 12 percent (11.7 percent) of adults read poetry in the last year, according to new data from the National Endowment for the Arts' 2017 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (SPPA). That's 28 million adults.

What activities do you do on National Poetry Day? ›

There are lots of ways to celebrate National Poetry Day, including reading your favourite poems, recommending poems for others to read, and even writing your own. Each year, the organisers of National Poetry Day help spread the word about the event in different ways.

How do you wish a poet on Poetry Day? ›

All the best on World Poetry Day. Let's celebrate the creativity and magic of poetry, which has so much to say in its own special way. You have my sincere greetings on this World Poetry Day. If you have poetry to motivate you to live a better life each and every day, life will never get boring.

What is the most celebrated form of English poetry? ›

The sonnet is one of the most famous forms in English poetry. A poetic form is a type of poem: each form has its own “rules” and is associated with particular themes. Sonnets are associated with desire: for centuries poets have used the frame of the sonnet to explore the complicated human experience of romantic love.

What is Black Poetry Day? ›

About National Black Poetry Day | Black Poetry 365

National Black Poetry Day is Oct. 17, an unofficial holiday to celebrate Black wordsmiths, the importance of Black heritage and literacy along with the contributions made by Black poets and writers.

What is the most common theme in poetry? ›

Love is one of the most universal themes in literature, as in life. In fact, the theme of love is underpins many of the stories we've discussed so far.

What is the poem for World Poetry Day 2023? ›

The theme for World Poetry Day 2023 is “Always be a poet, even in prose.” This famous line of verse by French poet Charles Baudelaire emphasizes the importance of creativity and beauty in all forms of writing, not just poetry.

Who is the US Poet Laureate 2023? ›

on Tuesday, February 7, 2023. U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón delivers the 2023 Baine Lecture at the University of Mississippi, at Fulton Chapel in Oxford, Miss. on Tuesday, February 7, 2023. OXFORD — Ada Limón is often asked what poetry can do.

How much is the US Poet Laureate paid? ›

Currently, the poet laureate receives a $35,000 annual stipend, endowed by a gift from Archer M. Huntington. On October 3, 1985, the U.S. Congress passed legislation authored by Senator Spark M.

Who is the most famous American poet? ›

Walt Whitman is considered one of America's most influential poets. His verse collection, Leaves of Grass, is a landmark in the history of American literature. Whitman was part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, and his work often focuses on the nature of the American experience and its democracy.

Who was never poet laureate? ›

In fact, Maya Angelou never served in the official position of Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress.

Who was Obama's poet laureate? ›

Richard Blanco (born February 15, 1968) is an American poet, public speaker, author and civil engineer. He is the fifth poet to read at a United States presidential inauguration, having read the poem "One Today" for Barack Obama's second inauguration.

What poet spoke at Obama's inauguration? ›

"Praise Song for the Day" is an occasional poem written by the American poet Elizabeth Alexander and delivered at the 2009 presidential inauguration of President Barack Obama.

Has there ever been a female poet laureate? ›

Dame Carol Ann Duffy [DBE FRSL HonFBA HonFRSE] (born 23 December 1955) is a Scottish poet and playwright. She is a professor of contemporary poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University, and was appointed Poet Laureate in May 2009, resigning in 2019.

Who was America's first poet laureate? ›

Mr. Warren served as Consultant in Poetry in 1944 and 1945. His new appointment, which begins in September, will last for one or possibly two years.

Who was JFK poet laureate? ›

Robert Frost was the first poet to speak at the inauguration of a president, reciting from memory “The Gift Outright,” when the glare of the sun prevented him from reading “Dedication,” a poem he had written specially for the occasion.

What is the shortest poem ever written? ›

"Lines on the Antiquity of Microbes", also known simply as "Fleas", is a couplet commonly cited as the shortest poem ever written, composed by American poet Strickland Gillilan in the early 20th century.

What are the shortest poems called? ›

Do you know what the world's shortest form of poetry is? It is haiku, which was born in Japan. Haiku is a short poem, consisting of just three lines, but it can capture natural scenery or scenes from daily life and even tell a story.

What do you call a one long poem? ›

An epic is a lengthy, revered narrative poem, ordinarily concerning a serious subject containing details of heroic deeds and events significant to a culture or nation. The term "long poem" includes all the generic expectations of epic and the reactions against those expectations.

Who started poetry first? ›

Poetry itself probably dates back to cavemen and the earliest shamans, who chronicled events in picture-stories, symbols, songs, and tales to chronicle hunts and features of the land on which these people survived.

When was the golden age of poetry? ›

The Golden Age can be subdivided into two major sections, the Ciceronian period (q.v.; 70–43 bc), dominated by Marcus Tullius Cicero, and the Augustan Age (q.v.; 43 bc–ad 18), a period of mature literary achievements by such writers as Virgil, Horace, and Livy. See also Silver Age.

Where was poetry invented? ›

Some of the oldest poems ever written are the epic poems of Ancient Greek author Homer, called The Iliad and The Odyssey. These were written around 700 BC. Epic poems are often long histories about heroic characters and often involve a journey of some kind.

What is female poet called? ›

ˈpō-i-, also ˈpȯ(-)i- Synonyms of poetess. : a girl or woman who is a poet.

What is the Queen's poet called? ›

Three poets, Thomas Gray, Samuel Rogers and Walter Scott, turned down the laureateship. The holder of the position as at January 2023 is Simon Armitage who succeeded Carol Ann Duffy in May 2019 after 10 years in office.

What do you call to a poet? ›

Synonyms: bard [archaic, literary], rhymer, lyricist, lyric poet More Synonyms of poet.

How many poems should you write a day? ›

Poets need special advice: I would suggest at least five stanzas a day, if possible a complete poem.

Is poem a day free? ›

Celebrate poetry with a poem delivered to your inbox every day. Help the Academy of American Poets provide free teaching tools to thousands of educators by making a gift today—spark a lifelong connection to this life-saving artform.

What to do at a poetry night? ›

Poetry Activity Ideas
  1. Magnetic Poetry: Have several sets of magnetic poetry and magnet boards. The kids have fun creating silly or meaningful poetry, then let them read it to each other.
  2. Poem Search: Gather a bunch of poetry books. Spread them out among the kids. ...
  3. Poetry Around: Put the kids in a circle.

Is reading poetry good for the brain? ›

Poetry boosts memory and encourages self-reflection.

Studies have done MRIs that show that poetry causes the part of the brain that activates during daydreaming to light up while reading or listening to poetry. Poetry often sticks with the reader, causing them to re-read and even memorize the words.

Why is poetry not popular anymore? ›

Why does no one read poetry anymore? Television and the Internet, and the consequent decline in literacy, are the obvious culprits.

Is there a wrong way to read poetry? ›

There's no right or wrong way to read poetry, but there is an argument to be made for reading practices that will enrich your experience, increase your enjoyment, and deepen your understanding of any poem.

On which day of the week is National Poetry Day? ›

National Poetry Day is the annual mass celebration on the first Thursday of October that encourages everyone to make, experience and share poetry with family and friends. Each year we come together because voices, words and stories help to bridge understanding in our community.

What do I do with all my poems? ›

50 Things to Do with a Poem
  1. Submit poems at least once a month to your favorite literary journals.
  2. Submit poems to journals advertising a theme.
  3. Enter poetry contests (3 or 4 a year).
  4. Create (or have someone create) a video of you reading/performing a poem.

How do we celebrate World Poetry Day? ›

World Poetry Day is the occasion to honour poets, revive oral traditions of poetry recitals, promote the reading, writing and teaching of poetry, foster the convergence between poetry and other arts such as theatre, dance, music and painting, and raise the visibility of poetry in the media.

Why do we celebrate National Poetry Day? ›

National Poetry Day was founded in 1994 by the charity Forward Arts Foundation, whose mission is to celebrate excellence in poetry and increase its audience.

Can you submit to poem a day? ›

We do not accept submissions of poems for Poem-a-Day, but we encourage poets with forthcoming books to email a pdf of the galley to Please visit our Poem-a-Day FAQ page for additional information.

What is the theme of Poetry Day? ›

The theme of World Poetry Day 2023 is “Always be a poet, even in prose.”

Where is National Poetry Day celebrated? ›

National Poetry Day is an annual event which takes place across the whole of the UK in celebration of poetry.

Where is World Poetry Day celebrated? ›

The 2021 World Poetry Day in the UNESCO headquarters in Paris was dedicated to the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the great Macedonian poet, writer, literary translator and linguistic scholar Blaže Koneski.

What date is National Poetry Day? ›

We're looking forward to celebrating National Poetry Day 2023, which will fall on Thursday 5 October, and will focus on the theme of refuge.


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