Embrace Local Poetry for National Poetry Month!

April is National Poetry Month! This year, join San Mateo County Libraries in celebrating poets and writers from right here in the Peninsula—that includes you! Read on to learn more about the exciting poetry workshops, readings and interactive creative projects waiting for you this month at the library.

San Mateo County in Verse: A Poetry Reading and Panel

Thursday, April 25, at 6:00 PM at San Carlos Library

San Mateo County is home to a thriving creative community, and we are honored to host a reading and discussion between local, long-time writers. Join us to hear Peter Neil Carroll, Lois Fried, Lisa Suguitan Melnick and Lee Rossi share a sampling of their work, as well as a lively conversation about living and writing in San Mateo County.

About the Panelists

Peter Neil Carroll has two new collections of poetry: This Land, These People: The 50 States, which won the Prize Americana; and Talking to Strangers: poetry of everyday life.

Lois Fried was recently appointed to the San Mateo County Arts Commission for District 2. So Great the Journey is her first book of poetry, published in 2023.

Lisa Suguitan Melnick is the composition/literature instructor and a co-advisor for the Katipunan Learning Community at the College of San Mateo. She is also a correspondent for Positively Filipino and author of #30 Collantes Street.

Lee Rossi is the author of five books of poetry: Say Anything, Darwin’s Garden, Wheelchair Samurai, Ghost Diary and Beyond Rescue.

Conversations in Haiku Workshops

What is a haiku? Originating from Japan, these short, “little” poems offer opportunities for meditation and appreciation for the rhythms of our world. This National Poetry Month, we are thrilled to present Conversations in Haiku, a welcoming, generative creative writing workshop hosted by Jerry Bolick, opens a new window. The workshop is both an introduction and a group learning project, where everyone can find their place and a way to participate comfortably. Beginners are encouraged to join! Conversations in Haiku is being offered across our library system to different age groups. Find a workshop and register here.

All Ages Haiku Workshops

Saturday, April 6, at 11:00 AM at North Fair Oaks Library

Sunday, April 7, at 1:30 PM at Belmont Library

Tuesday, April 9, at 5:00 PM at Half Moon Bay Library

Sunday, April 21, at 2:00 PM at Millbrae Library

Youth Haiku Workshops

Thursday, April 11, at 3:30 PM at East Palo Alto Library

Monday, April 15, at 3:00 PM at Foster City Library

Adult Haiku Workshops

Saturday, April 13, at 11:00 AM at Portola Valley Library

Sunday, April 14, at 11:00 AM at Foster City Library

Tuesday, April 16, at 12:15 PM at Pacifica Sanchez Library

Thursday, April 18, at 11:00 AM at Atherton Library

Monday, April 22, at 1:00 PM at San Carlos Library

Tuesday, April 23, at 5:30 PM at Brisbane Library

Share Your Poetry in the Libraries, All Month Long

You’re invited to create and contribute poems of your very own! While specifically geared toward school-aged youth and teens, our month of in-branch poetry prompts is open to all inspired to write. Keep an eye out for Emoji Poetry, Word Tickets, Magnetic Poetry, Blackout Poetry, and Poet-Trees! We can’t wait to read whatever you decide to write.

Belmont Library is also hosting a community poetry display, "DEAR EARTH" by Belmont Poet Laureate Monica Corde. The latest addition to this year's lineup of special features of Project POETRY 360, "DEAR EARTH" is an interactive installation urging community members to share uplifting personal sentiments or messages directed towards the Earth, centered around the theme of "Planet vs Plastic." Once the project reaches its conclusion, a collective poem will be crafted using all the contributed words and messages. Drop by the Belmont Library throughout April to witness the development of this community endeavor and to be a part of a poetic creation for National Poetry Month!