National Poetry Month

At Planet Word, we aim to inspire and renew a love of words, language, and reading in people of all ages. In recognition of National Poetry Month this April, we have curated a selection of resources below to help you discover and celebrate the artistry of words and poetry in all its forms.

  • Take your class on a virtual deep dive into the art of poetry this month with one of Planet Word’s educator-facilitated Wordshops.
  • Watch PAST PROGRAM VIDEOS about the art of poetry, featuring contemporary poets, authors, and literary critics like Naomi Shihab Nye, Lisa New, Sue Ellen Thompson, and more.
  • Follow Planet Word on Facebook and Instagram @PlanetWordDC for poetry and other fun word-related content.

Poem in Your Pocket Day | April 27, 2023

On April 27, Planet Word will be celebrating Poem in Your Pocket Day with a day that is all about poetry! We encourage you to bring your favorite poems to the museum or find a new favorite from our Poetry Nook, Lobby Gumball Machines, or Short Story Dispenser. There will also be specialized coloring activities in our magic Library highlighting some of our favorite poems. Museum staff will be handing out poems across the street in Franklin Park, and ten lucky recipients will win prizes from our Present Perfect gift shop!

Can’t make it to the museum? Join in the celebration remotely with resources created by the Academy of American Poets, or share your favorite poem on social media with the hashtag #PocketPoem.

Planet Wordshop for Students

Sounds Like Poetry!

Dive deeper into the art of poetry this month with one of Planet Word’s virtual educator-facilitated Wordshops. Delight in sprightly “i”s and “e”s or wallow in long, mournful “o”s as we explore how poets play with the sounds of words to evoke specific feelings and tones in their work. Students will also practice those techniques in a short writing activity.

Featured Programs

Performance

THE WORDS BEATS & LIFE FESTIVAL 2023: A Poet’s Mixtape

April 09, 2023 | 7:00 p.m.

$0 | Mansard Room

WBL Festival presents a special gathering honoring poets who have been featured on Hip Hop albums, including: Ursula Rucker, Amir Sulaiman, jessica Care moore, Ayesha Jaco, with live music by…

Featured Past Program

DIVERCITIES: Global Poetry Share from Nigeria

September 09, 2020 | 11:00 a.m.

There are over 500 native languages spoken in Nigeria, two of the main being Yoruba and Igbo. In this connection to Lagos,  the most populous city in Africa, hear from…

Featured Past Program

The Renaissance of Rhyme with Adam Bradley and Sue Ellen Thompson

April 21, 2021 | 6:30 p.m.

Rhythm and rhyme are for poets.  And rappers and artists all know that An excellent rhyme Adds spice to a line And our guests on this program will show it.…

Surround Yourself with Poetry

Poems can uplift, inspire, challenge, and change us. A poet’s careful use of words can bring us comfort or stir outrage in the face of injustice. In short, a poem is a powerful thing — one of the most powerful ways we can use words — so we knew that poetry would have to have a special place at Planet Word. During your visit, take a peek behind a hidden door in our magical Library and enjoy everything from Shel Silverstein to Beowulf, rhymes to free verse, and sonnets to haiku in our Poetry Nook.

See all poems in the Poetry Nook
From the Advisory Board

Poetry in America: Q&A with Lisa New

The Poetry in America initiative uses multimedia content and online courses to bring poetry into classrooms and living rooms worldwide. In this Q&A, we ask Poetry in America’s creator and director, Harvard professor and Planet Word advisor Lisa New, some questions about the unique appeal of poetry and her attempts to create a more accessible conversation about the art form.

Poetry in Our Community

When Soccer and Poetry Meet, Kids Succeed: Q&A with DC SCORES

Soccer and poetry might not seem to have much in common, but one local non-profit unites them toward a common goal: empowering kids. DC SCORES runs free, year-round soccer programs and poetry workshops for thousands of kids in the District. In this Q&A, DC SCORES representatives Tony Francavilla and Charity Blackwell share some of their favorite stories about their young poet-athletes.

Poetry Puzzles & Activities

Poetry Nook Word Search

VIEW

Poetry in America: The Whitman Crossword

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Limerick Activity

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Haiku Activities

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  • Did you know?

    Perhaps ironically, the word “sesquipedalophobia” means “the fear of long words.”
  • Did you know?

    “Contronyms” are words that contain multiple meanings that are complete opposites of each other. For example, “oversight” means both “the action of overseeing something” and “a failure to notice something.”
  • Did you know?

    There are over 7,000 languages worldwide, but more than half the world’s population speaks only 23 of these languages.
  • Did you know?

    The first entirely artificial language was the Lingua Ignota, a private mystical cant recorded in the 12th century by St. Hildegard of Bingen.
  • Did you know?

    The 10 most-used letters in English are E, A, R, I, O, T, N, S, L, and C.
  • Did you know?

    Eels, llamas, and aardvarks, ooh my! In English, there are only four letters that appear as double letters at the beginning of a word: A, E, L, and O.
  • Did you know?

    A “deipnosophist” is a person who’s really good at making conversation at the dinner table.
  • How do you get a dog to stop eating your books?

    Take the words right out of its mouth!
  • What's the difference between a cat and a comma?

    A cat has claws at the end of its paws, but a comma’s a pause at the end of a clause.
  • The past, the present, and the future walk into a bar...

    It was tense.
  • Is there a word that uses all the vowels including y?

    Unquestionably.
  • Riddle me this

    What did the intransitive verb say when told it was pretty? (Answer: Nothing. Intransitive verbs can’t take complements.)
  • Riddle me this

    What does an island and the letter T have in common? (Answer: They’re both in the middle of water.)
  • Riddle me this

    What word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it? (Answer: Short)
  • Riddle me this

    What starts with an E, ends with an E, and contains just one letter? (Answer: An envelope!)
  • Riddle me this

    What begins with a T, ends with a T, and has T in it? (Answer: A teapot!)
  • Riddle me this

    What’s in centuries, hours, and years, but not minutes, days, or seconds? (Answer: The letter R!)
  • Quote them on it

    “Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” — Groucho Marx
  • Quote them on it

    “The past is always tense, the future perfect.” — Zadie Smith
  • Quote them on it

    “If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.” — Toni Morrison
  • Quote them on it

    “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies...The man who never reads lives only once.” — George R.R. Martin
  • Quote them on it

    “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” — Nelson Mandela