April is National Poetry Month and we’re celebrating with a lyrical lineup of programs and events at the Covington Branch, including music, films, and poetry readings.

For Teen Patrons we have scheduled two programs:

Write Now! – Tuesday, April 11th at 6pm

A monthly program where teens can learn to develop their writing skills with activities, readings, and more, including advice and insight from a published poet!








Teen Poetry SlamFriday, April 28th at 7pm

An after-hours event for beginner and experienced writers alike. Come and share your poems, your thoughts, even your tweets! Sign-up is at the door and prizes will be awarded after the performances. The slam is hosted by Jay McCoy, author and co-host of the Teen Howl Poetry Series in Lexington, Kentucky. Coffee will be served courtesy of Left Bank Coffeehouse.

Teens need a permission slip to participate but all are welcome to attend.








For adults and all ages we proudly present a series of poetry films, concerts, readings, and interactive events.

Tellico Family Band – A Circle of Traditional and Original Appalachian Music Tuesday, April 18th at 7pm

Enjoy the spirit of Appalachian music and culture in a three generation Appalachian family band.  Reflect on the power of home place and community identity and enjoy songs with centuries of history and some new creations as well. Bring the whole family to share in the singing and reflections. Band member, Sherry Cook Stanforth is the Creative Writing Vision Program Director at Thomas More College and a co-editor of the regional literary journal, Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel. 







Wednesday Matinee – Poetry of WitnessApril 19th at 1pm

The first of our Poetry Month films is the documentary Poetry of Witness (2015), a term coined by author Carolyn Forché to describe the middle ground between personal and political poetry. Through the interviews of poets and scholars, this documentary sheds light upon those who have chosen poetry to preserve the memories of war, torture, exile, and repression.







 Short Order Poetry and I Am Kentucky: Poetry and PlaceSaturday, April 22nd

This Saturday is jam-packed with poetry!

First, we have Short Order Poetry from 10am to 1pm, an interactive writing experience from Chase Public. With just a short conversation, writers will create a poem especially for you, fresh from the typewriter.







Then stick around for the event that started this entire series:

I Am Kentucky: Poetry and Place

Authors Crystal Wilkinson, Staci Schoenfeld, Nickole Brown, Jay McCoy, and K. Nicole Wilson are coming to read their work and discuss the meaning of heritage and place in their writing. They will also have some of their books for sale afterwards so you can pick up a signed copy! The reading is sponsored by Roebling Point Books and Women Writing for (a) Change, who will both have tables at the event.







Matinee Wednesday – Slam Poetry Films – April 26th at 1pm

The second of our Poetry Month films is a double-header! Get ready for our Teen Poetry Slam with our screening of Saul Williams’ film Slam (1998) and episodes of Mos Def’s Def Poetry Jam (2002).

Slam tells the story of Ray Joshua, an original, gifted young MC trapped in a war-zone housing project known as Dodge City. Unable to find a job, Ray copes with the despair and poverty of his neighborhood by using his wits and verbal talent.

Def Poetry Jam is a spoken word poetry television series hosted by Mos Def featuring performances by established and up-and-coming spoken word poets.







For any questions about these programs and events, please contact M. Brett Gaffney at brett.gaffney@kentonlibrary.org or call 859-962-4022

Brett Gaffney is a library associate and co- editor for Gingerbread House Literary Magazine. Her poems have appeared in Exit 7, Rust+Moth, Permafrost, Devilfish Review, museum of americana, BlazeVOX, Rogue Agent, Apex Magazine, and Zone 3, among others. Her chapbook, Feeding the Dead, is available from Porkbelly Press.

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