The Blog of Toledo Lucas County Public Library

3 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month

Posted about 13 days ago by Jan C

Posted in Fiction, Literature, Poetry & Graphic Novels and Programs | Tagged with National Poetry Month, Poetry Speaks, Poetry Workshops and writing

Spring is coming. Time to get those creative juices flowing by registering for Poetry Speaks! Poetry writing workshops at three Toledo Lucas County Public Library locations in April. Register for one, two, or all three series; it’s a bloomin’ poetry curriculum.

On Wednesdays, prepare your poems for stage and print at Main Library. On Thursdays, explore poetic forms and styles at King Road Branch. On Saturdays, mash up poems and illustrations at Sanger Branch.

Celebrate National Poetry Month at the Library

Poetry Speaks Workshops

Poetry Speaks: Finishing Poetry

3 week poetry workshops lead to 4th-week staged readings by the participants. For poets who seek to get their drafts edited and performance or print-ready. Participants bring two to three of their original poems to workshop through to finished pieces. We'll explore the difference between poems on the page versus poems on the stage. Led by Jim Ferris and Joel Lipman. Featured poets: Kevin Coval on April 11 and Erin Adair-Hodges on April 25. Registration required.

Apr. 4, 11, 18, 25 | 6:30-8:15 pm | Huntington | Main Library

Jim Ferris - Lucas County Poet Laureate
Jim Ferris

The current Poet Laureate of Lucas County. He is an award-winning poet and performance artist, author of "Slouching Towards Guantanamo," "Facts of Life" and "The Hospital Poems." Ferris, who hold a doctorate in performance studies, has performed at the Kennedy Center and across the United States, Canada, and Great Britain, recent performance work includes the solo performance piece "Scars: A Love Story." His writing has appeared in dozens of publications, ranging from the Georgia Review to Text & Performance Quarterly, from the Michigan Quarterly Review to weekly newspapers. He has won awards for creative nonfiction and mathematics as well as performance and poetry. Ferris holds the Ability Center Endowed Chair in Disability Studies at the University of Toledo, where he directs the Disability Studies Program.

Joel Lipman - the first Poet Laureate of Lucas County (2008-2014)
Joel Lipman

Appointed the first Poet Laureate of Lucas County (2008-2014), by the Board of County Commissioners, Joel Lipman was raised in Kenosha, Wisconsin and has lived in Madison, Chicago, Buffalo and Toledo. Awarded Ohio’s Governor’s Award in 1988 and the 2011 Ohioana State Library’s Pegasus Award for Lifetime Achievement, his poems are available on the Poetry Foundation website and currently in Inland Seas: Quarterly Journal of the National Museum of the Great Lakes (V73, Fall 2017, No.3).

Kevin Coval - Poet
Kevin Coval

Kevin is a poet and community builder. As the artistic director of Young Chicago Authors, founder of Louder Than A Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival, and professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago, where he teaches hip-hop aesthetics. He’s mentored thousands of young writers, artists, and musicians.

He is the author and editor of 10 books, including "The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop" and "Schtick." He is also co-author of the play, "This is Modern Art." His work has appeared in Poetry Magazine, The Drunken Boat, Chicago Tribune, CNN, Fake Shore Drive, Huffington Post, and four seasons of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam. Coval’s forthcoming collection, "A People’s History of Chicago" dropped in April 2017 on Haymarket Books.

Erin Adair-Hodges - poet and creative writing instructor
Erin Adair-Hodges

Erin is the author of "Let's All Die Happy," winner of the 2016 Agnes Lynch Starrett prize from the Pitt Poetry Series. A Rona Jaffe-Bread Loaf scholar, Claudia Emerson-Sewanee scholar, and winner of the 2014 Loraine Williams Poetry Prize from The Georgia Review, her poems can be found in The Kenyon Review, Crazyhorse, Boulevard and other journals. She is currently a visiting professor of creative writing at the University of Toledo.

Poetry Speaks: Poetic All Sorts

3-week poetry workshops lead to a 4th-week staged reading by the participants. Explore different forms and styles of poetry. Share your favorites and write some new ones. Ages 16 and older. Led by Cindy Bosley and Leonard Kress. Registration required, limited to 12 participants.

Apr 5, 12, 19 and May 3 | 6:30-8 pm | King Road

Cindy Bosley - poet and creative writing instructor
Cindy Bosley

Cindy is the author of "The Siren Sonnets," a chapbook released last year. She teaches writing at the University of Toledo and Owens Community College. Bosley had poems published in The North American Review, Midwest Quarterly, Prairie Schooner and other journals. Bosley also makes art quilts and miniature rooms, is the mother of three daughters and rents pillow space to two cats.

Leonard Kress - poet and teacher
Leonard Kress

Leonard has published poetry and fiction in Massachusetts Review, Iowa Review, American Poetry Review, Harvard Review and other journals. His recent collections are "The Orpheus Complex," "Thirteens," "Braids & Other Sestinas" and "Walk Like Bo Diddley." He has received Individual Artist Grants in Poetry and Playwriting from the Ohio Arts Council and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and teaches philosophy and religion at Owens Community College.

Poetry Speaks: Poetry Illustrated

3-week poetry workshops lead to a 4th-week presentation by the participants. Explore broadsides, comics, zines and other collaborations of word and design. Learn how literary and graphic artists work together to create new works of poetry. Led by Imani Lateef. Registration required.

Apr 7, 14, 21, 28 | 2-3:30 pm | Sanger

Imani Lateef - graphic designer and poet.
Imani Lateef

Imani is an award-winning graphic designer and poet, specializing in newspaper/editorial design and logo design. He is the owner of, an e-commerce website specializing in digital comic books by Black comic book creators and publishers. In 2016, he won second place in the University of Toledo's Pitch and Pour business pitch competition for his e-commerce business. He recently sponsored Toledo's first Black Comic Book Festival in partnership with The Toledo Lucas County Public Library.

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