National Poetry Month

National Poetry Month

Madison's Poet Laureate Oscar Mireles and Madison Public Library are partnering to celebrate National Poetry Month!

Anyone parking in the Downtown Madison area on April 1 may find a slip of paper tucked on their windshield. Mireles and the Library are handing out a different kind of ticket - poetry parking tickets with words intended to bring a smile to the faces of those who receive them. 

The festivities don’t end there! Daily poetry selections from a variety of writers will be featured on the Madison Public Library website. Poems have been chosen by local celebrities, including Joy Cardin, former WPR host; Jessica Doyle, former First lady of Wisconsin; and Fabu, former City of Madison Poet Laureate, and each person will include a brief explanation for selecting that particular piece. 

Members of the public are invited to a special National Poetry Month kick off at Central Library on Saturday, April 7 from 3:00-4:30pm. Guests will enjoy a reception followed by special poetry readings from current City of Madison Poet Laureate, Oscar Mireles; Poet Laureate of Wisconsin, Kayla Hurston; as well as former Poet Laureates Fabu, Andrea Musher, and Wendy Vardaman.  

Other National Poetry Month activities include:

April 6 | 6:00pm | Goodman South Madison Library
This week's Family Fun Night is Poetrylicious: Writing Poetry About Food. Using real fruit as inspiration, Poet Fabu shares how to write a poetry-licious poem. Family Fun Nights are funded by a gift from The Capital Times Kids Fund.

April 13 | 7:00pm | Central Library
Word Power Grand Slam Finals will take place at Central Library. This poetry slam will determine who will represent Madison, WI at the Brave New Voices youth poetry festival. All are welcome to come and show support for the youth of Madison. Doors open at 6:30pm, event begins at 7:00pm.

April 22 | Madison Children's Museum
Madison Poet Laureate, Oscar Mireles will read from his children’s book, Why Did You Name Me Javier, Dad? at the Madison Children’s Museum 

April 23 | 5:00pm | Central Library
Public reception to honor the 25 writers selected for the Madison Metro Bus Lines Project, which will be followed by a screening of the poetry-related film Dead Poets Society.

Read the daily poetry selections at

Why National Poetry Month?

Madison Public Library invited City of Madison's past and present poet laureates to explain why National Poetry Month matters and how everyone can celebrate this month. Watch the full video!