In 1996, the Academy of American Poets brought National Poetry Month into prominence, making April a time for literary celebration.

To help make your literary celebration one to remember, we found some of the best ways you can send out poetic vibes, improve your writing, and practice literary citizenship.

Start the month with two events!

  • Dark Garden by Brian Andreas

    Dark Garden by Brian Andreas

    First Pulitzer-prize nominee Brian Andreas TONIGHT from 5:00 to 6:15 in the Cave Theatre. This will be an informal question and answer session. Andreas is the creator of the Storypeople universe, made up of books and artworks populated by multicolored people who speak in brief, wise, simple, sometimes poignant, often funny, always engaging storypoems on how to live the good life. (For more see This event is sponsored by the Department of Theatre and Dance.

  • Then, go the the Midwest Writers Workshop Poetry Reading at Vera Mae’s Bistro, 209 S. Walnut Street, downtown Muncie…tonight! Who’s reading?
    • MWWveraMitchell L.H. Douglas, associate professor of English at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Douglas is a founding member of the Affrilachian Poets, a Cave Canem fellow, and Poetry Editor for PLUCK!: the Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture. His second poetry collection, \blak\ \al-fə bet\, winner of the 2011 Lexi Rudnitsky/Editor’s Choice Award, is available from Persea Books.
    • Shari Wagner, author of two books of poetry: The Harmonist at Nightfall: Poems of Indiana (Bottom Dog Press, 2013) and Evening Chore (Cascadia, 2005). She was co-winner of Shenandoah’s The Carter Prize for the Essay (2009) and the recipient of two Arts Council of Indianapolis Creative Renewal Fellowships, as well as grants from the Indiana Arts Commission.
      Allison Nusbaum, a *junior at Ball State University* majoring in creative writing with a minor in screenwriting. While she still hopes to become a Hollywood screenwriter, she has also recently discovered her love of poetry.
  • Celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day by carrying around your favorite poem and sharing it with friends. If you want to make your friends uncomfortable, share the poem in a crowded place. Through a megaphone.

  • Fill out a form and get a FREE National Poetry Month poster created by award-winning designer Chip Kidd.
  • Go to Literary Death Match! Or sign up for a chance to compete in the battle royal. Just come to Robert Bell 297 and write down your name and e-mail. Better yet, contact us at The deadline is April 3rd!Write a terrible poem. We’re talking clichés, ridiculous metaphors, and similes that fall flat. Consistently, persistently, unceasingly use as many adverbs as possible.

  • Watch an episode of Brave New Voices, an HBO project that aims to make younger writers and performers heard.
  • Sign up for Poem-a-Day to receive previously unpublished poems by contemporary poets in your in-box.
  • READ YOUR WORK! Attend “Reacting Out Loud,” the first in a series of open mic nights at The Cup. Poets, spoken word artists, and acapella emcees are invited to perform at this event open to the Muncie public. Find out more.

  • Tell K-12 students about the Dear Poet Project. It’s a multimedia project that encourages students to write letters in response to poems by award-winning poets.
  • Write a review for one of your favorite books on Goodreads!
  • Put a poem in a time capsule and open it again on 2016’s National Poetry Month. Then immediately start editing it.