30 Book Selections for National Poetry Month

“Uptown is a caterpillar.

Well, it’s really the Metro-North train

as it eases over the Harlem River…

Uptown is a stage.

The Apollo Theater has showcased

the greatest entertainers in the world…

Uptown is a barbershop.

It’s a place where last night’s

ball game can be more important than

what style haircut you want.”

April is National Poetry Month, and that excerpt is from multiple award-winning author and illustrator, Bryan Collier’s Uptown, a book described as “engagingly energetic“ by Kirkus Reviews. The thirty fiction and nonfiction books selected for National Poetry Month cover a wide range of topics, such as the alphabet, shoes, family, President Obama, food, music, and love; there’s even a retelling of Dante’s Inferno by John Agard. Go to our category page Genres, Themes, and… to select more picture, middle grade, and young adult books for your home or classroom library—or to donate. Happy Reading!




Uptown – Bryan Collier

Uptown – Bryan Collier

The Neighborhood Mother Goose – Nina Crews

The Neighborhood Mother Goose – Nina Crews

Some Kind of Love: A Family Reunion in Poems – Traci Dant

Some Kind of Love: A Family Reunion in Poems – Traci Dant

The Distant Talking Drum - Isaac O. Olaleye

The Distant Talking Drum - Isaac O. Olaleye

Brothers & Sisters: Family Poems – Eloise Greenfield

Brothers & Sisters: Family Poems – Eloise Greenfield

Coconut Kind of Day: Island Poems – Lynn Joseph

Coconut Kind of Day: Island Poems – Lynn Joseph

My Feet Are Laughing – Lissette Norman

My Feet Are Laughing – Lissette Norman

Praise Song for the Day – Elizabeth Alexander

Praise Song for the Day – Elizabeth Alexander

Young Cornrows Callin Out the Moon – Ruth Forman

Young Cornrows Callin Out the Moon – Ruth Forman

Wonders: The Best Children's Poems of Effie Lee Newsome – Rudine Sims Bishop

Wonders: The Best Children's Poems of Effie Lee Newsome – Rudine Sims Bishop

Ashley Bryan's ABC of African American Poetry – Ashley Bryan

Ashley Bryan's ABC of African American Poetry – Ashley Bryan

Speak to Me: (And I Will Listen Between the Lines) – Karen English

Speak to Me: (And I Will Listen Between the Lines) – Karen English

The Sun Is So Quiet – Nikki Giovanni

The Sun Is So Quiet – Nikki Giovanni

Shoe Magic – Nikki Grimes

Shoe Magic – Nikki Grimes

America, My New Home – Monica Gunning

America, My New Home – Monica Gunning

Pass It On: African American Poetry for Children – Wade Hudson

Pass It On: African American Poetry for Children – Wade Hudson

The Blacker the Berry – Joyce Carol Thomas

The Blacker the Berry – Joyce Carol Thomas

There Is a Flower at the Tip of My Nose Smelling Me – Alice Walker

There Is a Flower at the Tip of My Nose Smelling Me – Alice Walker

A Moose Boosh: A Few Choice Words About Food – Eric Shabazz Larkin

A Moose Boosh: A Few Choice Words About Food – Eric Shabazz Larkin

The Young Inferno – John Agard

The Young Inferno – John Agard

Poetry from the Masters: The Pioneers – Wade Hudson

Poetry from the Masters: The Pioneers – Wade Hudson

Blues Journey – Walter Dean Myers

Blues Journey – Walter Dean Myers

Poetry from the Masters: The Black Arts Movement – Useni Eugene Perkins

Poetry from the Masters: The Black Arts Movement – Useni Eugene Perkins

The Way a Door Closes – Hope Anita Smith

The Way a Door Closes – Hope Anita Smith

Locomotion – Jacqueline Woodson

Locomotion – Jacqueline Woodson

The Song Shoots Out of My Mouth: A Celebration of Music – Jaime Adoff

The Song Shoots Out of My Mouth: A Celebration of Music – Jaime Adoff

Street Love – Walter Dean Myers

Street Love – Walter Dean Myers

Now Sheba Sings the Song – Maya Angelou

Now Sheba Sings the Song – Maya Angelou

You Don't Even Know Me: Stories and Poems About Boys – Sharon Flake

You Don't Even Know Me: Stories and Poems About Boys – Sharon Flake

The 100 Best African American Poems – Nikki Giovanni

The 100 Best African American Poems – Nikki Giovanni

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