Shreve Memorial Library is inviting patrons of all ages to find inspiration and celebrate the joys of poetry this April as the library celebrates National Poetry Month. Launched by the Academy of American Poets in April 1996, National Poetry Month reminds the public that poets have an integral role to play in culture and that poetry matters. Shreve Memorial Library branches throughout Caddo Parish will host a wide variety of programs and opportunities for patrons to express themselves in honor of National Poetry Month. Programs include poetry writing workshops, open mic nights, poetry readings, movie nights and more. All Shreve Memorial Library programs are free and open to the public.

Throughout the month of April, library patrons can visit several Shreve Memorial Library branches daily to be inspired and try their hand at poetry writing. Teens are invited to join the Teen Poetry Challenge at the Means Branch, located at 7016 E. Magnolia Lane in Ida, any Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday between the hours of 12:00 p.m. and 5 p.m. to create poetry to be displayed in the branch. In Gilliam, teens and adults can participate in both the Poetry Challenge and Mad Lib Poetry Slam Challenge during normal business hours and create poetry to be displayed at the Gilliam Branch, located at 12797 Main Street. In addition, the North Shreveport Branch, 4844 North Market Street, will host a Poetry Creation Station that is open daily, and the Wallette Branch, 363 Hearne Avenue, will have different pieces of poetry for patrons to read each day. Patrons are invited to be inspired with a poem in their pocket at the West Shreveport, 4380 Pines Road, and the North Caddo, 615 North Pine Street in Vivian, Branches April 1 through April 30.

Additional poetry writing workshops and activities will be held at other library locations throughout the month. On Thursday, April 7, the Oil City Branch will host Poetry for Terrific Teens, encouraging teens to express their feelings about the school year, new adventures, and events of the past few years. The program will take place at the branch, located at 102 Allen Street in Oil City, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Paper and materials will be provided by the library.

The Atkins Branch will teach teens how to create their own blackout poetry, a poetry technique that involves marking out the words on a page of a book to form a poem. The blackout poetry workshop will take place on Wednesday, April 13 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The Atkins Branch is located at 3704 Greenwood Road.

On Tuesday, April 19, the Hollywood/Union Avenue Branch invites teens to join the branch for Poetry Write and Read. Teens will be given the opportunity to celebrate the joy of expression and pure delight of poetry writing in this workshop. The program begins at 4:30 p.m. at the Hollywood/Union Avenue Branch, located at 2105 Hollywood Avenue.

In Belcher, teens and adults have the opportunity to not only create flowery poetry, but also to make their very own wildflower seed bombs. Seed bombs are small clusters packed with wildflower seeds that are designed to bring greenery and colorful pollinator habitats to urban landscapes or neglected areas. Patrons will make their own wildflower seed bombs and then write a poem expressing what the wildflowers mean to them and how they will use the wildflower seed bomb. The program will take place on Tuesday, April 19 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. for teens and on Friday, April 22 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. for adults. Both programs will take place at the Belcher-Wyche Branch, located at 409 Charles Street in Belcher.

On Monday, April 25, teens at the North Caddo Branch in Vivian will learn how to create Haiku poetry using binary code. Binary code uses combinations of “0” and “1” to represent text, computer processor instructions, and other data using a two-symbol system. Teens will learn how to create Haiku poetry in binary code and then translate the coded poem back to English. The program will take place from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

For those patrons that are interested in open mic nights and live poetry readings. Shreve Memorial Library branches have several opportunities lined up. Each Monday in April, local poet and writer Willetta Davis will visit the Mooretown Branch for Poetry with Willetta Davis. Davis will speak about poetry and National Poetry Month as well as share some spoken word poetry with library patrons. The program will take place from 5:00 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. at the Mooretown Branch, located at 4360 Hollywood Avenue. Additionally, the Mooretown Branch will also host a Teen Poetry Slam on Saturday, April 9 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Teens are invited to visit the branch for some friendly competition using books to make poems.

On Thursday, April 14 at 4:30 p.m., local poet Crystalyn Whitaker-Nelson will visit the Hollywood/Union Avenue Branch for an inspirational poetry reading. Whitaker-Nelson will share her original works and her personal story with library patrons. The program is designed for adults, but all are welcome to attend.

On Tuesday, April 26, the Cedar Grove-Line Avenue Branch, 8303 Line Avenue, will host Poets Groove at the Grove. Teens are invited to join the branch for a combination poetry workshop and open mic night. Teens can share pieces of poetry that they previously created or write their own original poems during a short poetry-writing workshop. The program will take place from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Other National Poetry Month programs at Shreve Memorial Library include story times, coloring sessions and movie nights. The Blanchard Branch, 344 Alexander Street in Blanchard, will host “Rainbow of My Own” drop in story times Tuesdays through Fridays now through April 15 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day. Children and teens are invited to hear the story Rainbow of My Own by Don Freeman and complete a poetry-themed coloring page and craft. In addition, the Blanchard Branch will host a Poetry Month Coffee and Coloring session for adults on Friday, April 29 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. A poetry-themed story time program will also be held at the Hollywood/Union Avenue Branch on Wednesday, April 27 at 10:00 a.m., while the West Shreveport Branch will host a poetry-themed movie night, featuring titles such as Poetic Justice and Dead Poets Society, on Tuesday, April 12 at 4:30 p.m.

For more information on National Poetry Month and other Shreve Memorial Library programs, please visit www.shreve-lib.org. Please note that all program dates and times are subject to change.

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