Dead Poets Night at NOPL Norman Mayer

As one of the last events of National Poetry Month, I’m honored to be leading a celebration of poetry tonight at the Norman Mayer (Gentilly) Branch of the New Orleans Public Library. The Dead Poets Slam starts at 5.30pm, featuring area high school students bringing their favorite dead poets — well, at least their poems — into the poetry nook on the second floor. Don’t be a stranger! Come celebrate the end of a fantastic month with us.

Also concluding the month is the series of NPM-related posts at Bayou Magazine, over at UNO. Their contributions this month are well worth trolling back through — it ain’t every day that Aaron Neville writes a new poem just for the occasion, is it?

Experience Poetry Week in Vicksburg

For those in the Jackson/Vicksburg area, much-beloved independent bookseller Lorelei Books is hosting a series of events for National Poetry Month this coming weekend, on April 27th. Experience Poetry Week includes a reading, discussion, and Q&A session with poets Jack Bedell, Julie Kane, and Irene Latham. If you’re anywhere nearby, it’s well worth a visit. More details are available at the Lorelei Books Facebook page, or the Academy of American Poets website.

The Worst Verse Bad Poetry Competition 2013

New Orleans writers! If you’re a poet, poetry lover, or even a poetry hater, in celebration of National Poetry Month the Latter Library is hosting its first annual Worst Verse Bad Poetry competition. Eligible to all current students in the greater New Orleans area, the Library welcomes submissions of original bad poetry by the end of April, for a public reading and performance of the worst verses on Thursday, May 16th.

The rules are:

  • Students at New Orleans area high schools and colleges are eligible to enter
  • Poems must be original work, previously unpublished
  • Poems must be 40 lines maximum
  • Poems can be in any form – rhyme is encouraged, but not required
  • Subject matter must be PG-13 or below (use your judgment!)
  • One submission per poet
  • Submissions will be judged anonymously by a panel of local poets, readers, librarians, and book-lovers.

To enter, email your submission with cover sheet including your name, school, class, age, email address, and phone number to by April 30, 2013. The best of the worst will win gift cards to local bookstores worth up to $50 (yes, you read that right) and new journals to fill with good poetry. We’re looking forward to reading the very worst of your work — so get writing!