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Celebrate National Poetry Month at the Library

National Poetry Month was inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets celebrating poetry’s vital place in our culture.

Poet-in-Residence

This year at Madison Public Library, we're excited to announce our 2022 Poet-in-Residence, Madison Poet Laureate Angela Trudell Vasquez. 

Angela will serve as the Poet-in-Residence from March-May 2022 and will offer a number of programs for all ages (kids, teens and adults). In advance of her residency, we have collaborated to offer Poetry Response Kits with supplies in them to create a piece of art in response to Angela's poem, "Tree Friends." These kits are for all ages and are available at all library locations to take home today. Once submissions have all been gathered, a collaborative, community art piece will be created to be on display at various Madison Public Library locations during Poetry Month in April.

During her residency, Angela will be providing workshops for all ages. Some will be especially geared for adults, others for teens, and some for youth and families. These workshops go beyond just poetry, incorporating various other specialists and experts, including an artist, a dancer, and a naturalist to add interactive elements to the workshops and broaden the ways we experience poetry. Workshops will be hosted at a variety of library locations across the city. Please join Angela and the library in celebrating poetry and its abilities to create connection, promote wellness, and share the stories we all have within us.​


Meet Angela Trudell Vasquez

Angela Trudell Vasquez is a poet, writer, teacher, and activist. She is the current City of Madison Poet Laureate, and the first Latina to hold the position. Angie Trudell Vasquez received her MFA in poetry from the Institute of American Indian Arts. Her work was recently featured by Tracy K. Smith, former U.S. Poet Laureate, on the poetry podcast, The Slow Down, which is broadcast daily on Minnesota Public Radio. 

Most recently her work has been published in Taos Journal of Poetry, Yellow Medicine Review, Raven Chronicles, The Rumpus, Cloudthroat, and the South Florida Poetry Journal. She has poems on the Poetry Foundation’s website, and was a Ruth Lilly fellow while at Drake University. In 2020, she co-edited a collection with former Wisconsin Poet Laureate, Margaret Rozga, entitled Through This Door, and published under her small press Art Night Books. Finishing Line Press will release her fourth collection of poetry, My People Redux, in 2022. Read more about Angela's reappointment as the City of Madison's Poet Laureate here. ​

Poetry Maker Kits

Poet Laureate says thanks for participating!

We have 3,000 Poetry Response Maker Kits available at our libraries. Each kit contains the poem Tree Friends [READ/LEER] by Madison's Poet Laureate Angela Trudell Vasquez, as well as art supplies. We want you to draw, write, paint, or CREATE whatever comes to your mind when reading Angela's poem, and then return your items in the envelope back to any of our library locations by March 18. You can also submit your response online. We'll work with The Bubbler at Madison Public Library to use your submissions to create a collaborative, community art piece to be displayed in our libraries during Poetry Month. We can't wait to see your creativity on display!

Poetry Workshops

Workshops

Art Inspiring Art Workshop [Adults]

Deepen your experience of art - and explore the dynamics between art and poetry - in this Ekphrastic poetry workshop! Join Poet-in-Residence Angela Trudell Vasquez as she co-leads with a Bubbler Artist Cohort members to incorporate art + poetry. Participants will discuss, read and view examples of Ekphrastic poetry, (that is, poetry written in response to art), and be guided through creating their own poems and art. 

Words in Bloom Workshop [Teens]:

Madison's Poet Laureate, Angela Trudell Vasquez - along with a Bubbler Artist Cohort member - will join in to help explore the dynamics between poetry and art. The group will explore creating art from poetry - and - poetry from art. There will be room for lots of creativity! All middle and high school teens welcome.

Poetry + Nature Workshop [Kids K-5]:

Join Angela Trudell Vasquez, and a Madison Audubon Society educator, Carolyn Byers, as they team up to teach a poetry workshop based on our natural world. Kids will be able to see and touch feathers, skulls, scat (rubber poop!) and more! There will be short presentations by both instructors. We will engage in art making and sharing. This workshop will take place outdoors, and masks are recommended.

Bilingual Poetry + Dance Workshop [Families]:

Join Angela Trudell Vasquez and dance teacher & choreographer, Barb Wesson, for an exciting merging of words and movement! Families will get a peek into the creation of the poem “Tree Friends” and explore other eco poems and poets. All participants will get to do a little writing and dancing, too. Families of all ages are welcome! 

Authors Speak 5-Week Workshop [Seniors]:

The theme of this series is sharing your life story or legacy; everyone has a story to tell. A matte will be provided so that upon completion of your poetry, you will have something to frame and share with your family & friends. This is a 5-week workshop series led by Poet Fabu (Madison Poet Laureate from 2008-2012). LEARN MORE

Upcoming Events

Poem A Day

Beginning in 2018, Madison Public Library celebrated National Poetry Month by posting a poem a day throughout the entire month of April. In various years, poems were recommended by Madison-area readers and writers, curated by City of Madison Poet Laureates, or selected by Library staff.

You can check out the highlighted poems and find out why each was chosen on the A Poem a Day page.

Past Years' Selections

2020 Selections

Chosen by City of Madison Poet Laureate Angela Trudell Vasquez

2019 Selections

Chosen by Madison Public Library staff.

2018 Selections

Curated by 2018 City of Madison Poet Laureate Oscar Mireles.