National Poetry Month in Joplin, MO 2017

National Poetry Month (NPM) is the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K-12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, bloggers, and, of course, poets marking poetry’s important place in our culture and our lives every April.

Thursday, April 6 | Joplin’s Poem In Your Pocket Day at First Thursday ArtWalk, 5:30–8:30pm at Connect2Culture’s info booth inside the Bistro Gallery (409 S Main St). Every April, on Poem in Your Pocket Day, people celebrate by selecting a poem, carrying it with them, and sharing it with others throughout the day at schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, and on Twitter using the hashtag #pocketpoem. Although the “national” Poem In Your Pocket Day for 2017 is April 27, we’ve decided to host Joplin’s Poem In Your Pocket Day at both First Thursday ArtWalk and Third Thursday. Swing by and pick up a poem for your pocket at Connect2Culture’s info booth. Choose a poem, carry it with you, and share it with others! While you are there, contribute a word that will eventually be incorporated into a poem. Many words will be gathered throughout the evening and poets from Pub Hound Press will transform them into a poem at the end of the night! Look for the results on Connect2Culture’s Facebook page.

Thursday, April 13 | Poetry Wordshop with Dr. Brad Modlin, 7:00pm at Local Color Art Gallery & Studio (1027 S Main St).
Read published poets together…and then steal from them! Try out some stress-free writing exercises. All are welcome. Bring a pen for some poetic fun! Dr. Brad Modlin is the author of the poetry book Everyone at This Party Has Two Names and the short collection of short stories Surviving in Drought. He is a writing professor at Missouri Southern State University, where he advises the student literary magazine bordertown. Free admission.

Tuesday, April 18 | 1,000 Words Event, 6:30pm at Spiva Center for the Arts (222 W 3rd St). 
PhotoSpiva 2017 serves as inspiration for the 9th annual 1000 Words event. Writers are invited to pick a photo as a springboard for poetry or prose. Sign up to participate at Spiva by April 15. The public reading will be held on April 18, 6:30pm.

Thursday, April 20 | Joplin’s Poem In Your Pocket Day at Third Thursday, 5:30–8:30pm at Connect2Culture’s Booth (5th & Main St).
Poem in Your Pocket Day, people celebrate by selecting a poem, carrying it with them, and sharing it with others throughout the day at schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, and on Twitter using the hashtag #pocketpoem. Although the “national” Poem In Your Pocket Day for 2017 is April 27, we’ve decided to host Joplin’s Poem In Your Pocket Day at both First Thursday ArtWalk and Third Thursday. Swing by and pick up a poem for your pocket at Connect2Culture’s info booth. Choose a poem, carry it with you, and share it with others!

Thursday, April 20 | Veteran Poetry Reading Program – Scarce Heard Amid the Guns, 6:00–7:30pm at Spiva Center for the Arts (222 W 3rd St). Scarce heard amid the guns is a line from the poem “In Flanders Field” composed at the battlefront on May 3, 1915 during the second battle of Ypres, Belgium. Canadian Army doctor John McCrae looked over a field of poppies where his friend had been buried a day earlier after dying in battle. Join Compass Quest Veterans Services to hear poetry written by fellow warriors. Poet and artist, Kristine Steddum will facilitate. If you want to read some poetry, yours or someone elses, let them know by calling 417.438.8387 or email vetinfo@compassquest.org. Free admission.

Thursday, April 27 | Polyphony7:00pm at MSSU Spiva Art Gallery (3950 E Newman Rd). 
“Polyphony” is a reading by the Creative Writing faculty at Missouri Southern State University. Readers this year are Bill Kumbier, Dustin Faulstick, Brad Modlin, Michael Howarth, and Joey Brown. This event is free and open to the public and refreshments will be served. Cash donations for the Saltzman Series for Visiting Writers, which will be used in the future to bring visiting writers and poets to MSSU and Joplin, will be accepted.

Friday, April 28 | Open Mic Poetry Night, 7:00pm at Joplin Empire Market (931 E 4th Street).
Do you write poetry? Do you love poetry? Come recite a poem you’ve written or one by a poet you love. Feel free to bring some craft beer or a bottle of wine to share. This is a 21+ event. Free admission.

This year’s “partners in poetry”…

Click here to download the official National Poetry Month in Joplin, MO poster.