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Library Showers Community with Poetry in April

Each April, the world holds one of the largest literary celebrations in honor of National Poetry Month. The importance of poetry in our culture and lives is celebrated by readers, teachers, students, librarians, publishers, poets and others.

While the Santa Barbara Public Library strives to honor and celebrate poets and poetry all year, April provides a designated month to bring this creative art form to the fore.

The Santa Barbara Public Library kicked off National Poetry Month on April 8 with the Santa Barbara Poetry Series. This was the third reading of the 2017-18 season and featured readers David Starkey, Pamela Davis and Kate Morgan.

The Santa Barbara Poetry Series (founded in 1990) is an ongoing program at the Central Library presented in partnership with Gunpowder Press, with thanks to Nancy Gifford and Poets & Writers magazine.

Each quarter, the Santa Barbara Poetry Series brings together a student, local and visiting poet to read their works.
Community members of all ages can continue to celebrate poetry with the library this month with a variety of events.

On Thursday, April 12, at 5:30 p.m. teens are invited to join the Central Library for Typewriter/Concrete Poetry, an evening of poetic creativity and exploration of vintage technology. Held in library's tech lab.

Participants will be able to have their work shown in the main display case in the library lobby. Registration required.
Through April 13, local middle-school students can respond to the Solvang Library's Poetry Challenge — write a poem on the theme Selfies: Pretense, Truth, and Dreams.

Youth can submit a 25-line (or less) poem to [email protected] with the subject line "Selfie" and include name, grade, school and teacher.

Those whose pieces are accepted and are interested will be reading their work at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 25, at the Solvang Library. The public is invited to attend and celebrate with the young poets.
Also for teens, the end of the month brings a Teen Poetry Slam, 6 p.m. Friday, April 27, in the Fireplace Room, Central Library.

This poetry competition invites poets ages 12-18 to perform original work (three-minute maximum), alone or in teams, before an audience. Those interested may register in advance online, or register when they arrive. Registration ends at 6:15 p.m.

Local poets will serve as judges for the slam, and prizes will be awarded. All community members are invited to come enjoy the show.

The Central Library invites the community to join the Santa Barbara Museum of Art Community Speakers at The Artful Reader event, 3 p.m. Sunday, April 15, in the library's Faulkner Gallery.

Docents will take attendees on a journey through portrayals of the reader in art, from Rembrandt's painting of his mother lost in a book to Elvis Getting a Ducktail.

All poets and poetry appreciators are invited to read poems with the community at the Central Library's Favorite Poem Readings event, 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, April 17. Participants can read aloud a favorite poem (not their own) or just listen.
Finally, the Mission Poetry Series will close its ninth season with a spring reading featuring two California poets: Marisol Baca and Chris Buckley at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 28, in the Central Library's Faulkner Gallery.

The event title, In Bright Sky Blue, is taken from a poem by Joanne Kyger, a poet of the San Francisco Renaissance who studied poetry and philosophy at UCSB. Free and open to the public.

— Jennifer Lemberger for Santa Barbara Library System.


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