Poetry

Blackout Poetry

blackout poetryCelebrate National Poetry Month by creating blackout poetry. No, it doesn't require writing in the dark, in fact, it doesn't require writing at all. All you need are a few pages of text (typically from an old book, magazine, or newspaper) and a black marker. Simply blackout all of the words you want to hide, and voilà, the visible words that remain create a blackout poem. View a gallery of blackout poetry from the simple to the sublime from @makeblackoutpoetry via Instagram.

Want to try your hand at blackout poetry? Stop by the 1st floor reference desk in April and we'll provide supplies to help you get started.

Rhythm and Rhyme-Poetry to Make You Move

It's April once again which means baseball, rain showers, left-over Easter candy and yes, poetry. That's right it's National Poetry Month and while, sure, you could read some Keats or Frost or maybe even some Shakespeare, but I’m thinking a little younger-and a lot more active.

Book Hunters in Brief #123: Books for Fans of Beyoncé's Lemonade

This week Book Hunters, like nearly everyone else with ears and even the least bit of cultural awareness, were abuzz with talk of Beyonce's Lemonade. So today, we offer a selection of books inspired in one way or another by the album.

Slip on the beats, see what you think.

Book Hunters in Brief #120: Children's Poetry for National Poetry Month

Not only is it a fairly inarguable fact that children and young adults write the best poetry, they are also--for many of the same reasons--the best readers of poetry. In both cases, their abilities have to do with an intuitive sense of possibilities: in language, in imagination, in life and the world around them. It is also a fairly inarguable fact that the world would be a better, or at least more interesting, place if more of us could carry a child's poetic sensibility into adulthood. We just don't, for many, probably valid, reasons. Heck, most kids who grow up to be poets can't even manage it.

Book Hunters in Brief #68: Poetry for the Verse Averse

Yes, it's that time of year again when well-meaning poetry lovers insist (always with a hint of desperation in their voices) that you must read some poetry because it's National Poetry Month and it is important and it is good for you and it is fun (despite the fact that it's pretty much a universal law that if so

Calling All Teen Poets, Rappers & Writers! Space City Poetry Slam! Saturday @ Barbara Bush Branch Library

Teen poets, writers and rappers! It’s time to step up and stand out at the WITS Space City Slam, Saturday, March 7, 2:00 PM at Barbara Bush Branch Library.

The slam is free and open to all teens between 13 and 19 years. No registration is necessary. Just bring your best poetry and bring it at the mic.

Saturday's event is the third of ten first-round slams to held across the Greater Houston Area. Saturday's winners  will move on to the semifinal round to compete for a spot in the final Space City Grand Slam in April at Discovery Green. The six winners of the Grand Slam will join the Meta-Four Houston performance poetry team at the Brave New Voices Festival this July in Atlanta.

Phillip Levine (1928 - 2015)

The poet Phillip Levine passed away on Sunday. The obituaries you may or may not read are going to focus on his reputation as a poet who wrote about the working class, or more accurately, about the actual work of those we lump under that term. And he was, no doubt, that. The title of one of his two National Book Award winning collections was after all What Work Is. And he should be lauded for that part of his work, but he was not only that. He was too smart, too multi-dimensional a human to be satisfied with that.

Celebrate African American History Month in Stanzas and Song

 

A poet’s connection to history is often palpable, whether they are speaking directly to the past or reaching out to us Lucille Clifton Plaque, "For Cornelia" from some bygone era. Within American poetry, there is a rich tradition of African American voices speaking to both their personal histories and the larger historical narratives that have shaped their lives. A reader could explore African American history this month through the voices of Jazz Poetry, the Harlem Renaissance, or the Black Arts Movement, some of whom you’ll find on this list. I’ve added a couple newcomers and names that might be a little less familiar, too. Plus, there’s Tupac. All the makings of a good jumping off point to celebrate African American history this February. 

Rod McKuen (1933 - 2015)

For a certain, very narrow slice of the population (of which I count myself a part)--namely "serious" poets--the name Rod McKuen is the punch line of any number of jokes. These jokes are invariably told with a knowing sneer and a big dollop of condescension. You see, Rod McKuen, for a considerable stretch of the 1960s and 70s, was something most younger Americans cannot imagine: a well-known and well-paid poet. He managed to become rich and famous by writing very accessible poems--lots and lots of them. How accessible, you ask?

Resolution Check: Poetry Writing Guides

Photo of QuillChances are if you are a reader of poetry, you are a writer of poetry. If you’re like me and the whole writing thing has gone on a bit of a hiatus for AHEM almostthreeyears or so, your hypothetical list of goals for the New Year may have included flexing your writerly muscles more often. And if your January has gone like mine, it is possible you haven’t actually worked on those New Year’s goals at all. Thankfully, HCPL has an assortment of books to encourage and stir the muse within, whether you’re a certifiable bard or just a beginner looking for a place to start.

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