April is National Poetry Month, when 11 local poets will make appearances at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie.
The poets will read from their works and discuss the importance of poetry. Each event is free of charge and is open to the public. Registration is not required.
Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month is the largest literary celebration in the world, with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers and poets celebrating poetry’s vital place in our culture.
The poetry reading at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 2, will feature Christopher Shipman and Brett Evans. Shipman’s poetry has been featured on Verse Daily and appears in journals, such as Cimarron Review, PANK and Salt Hill, and The Mississippi River Poetry Anthology. His first collection of poetry, “Human-Carrying Flight Technology,” was published in 2012.
Evans is the author of several books including “After School Session with Brett Evans,” “Ready-to-Eat Individual,” “Slosh Models” and “I Love This American Way of Life,” along with the chapbooks “Steaks of the Buddha Cow,” “Tang Dynasty,” “Bacon Assegai” and “Nectar Mine.”
The reading at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 7, will feature poets Ava Haymon, Ralph Adamo and Andy Young.
Haymon is poet laureate of Louisiana. Her most recent poetry collection is “Eldest Daughter.” She has written three previous collections: “Why the House Is Made of Gingerbread,” “Kitchen Heat” and “The Strict Economy of Fire.” Her poems have appeared in journals nationwide.
Adamo has edited Xavier Review since spring 2011. His six collections of poetry were published by small presses, most recently the selected volume “Waterblind” from Portals Press in 2002. He won a National Endowment for the Arts award for poetry in 2003.
Young is the co-editor of Meena, an Arabic-English literary journal. She teaches creative writing at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. Her work recently was featured on National Public Radio’s “The World” and published in Best New Poets 2009, Callaloo and Guernica.
The reading at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 14, will feature Megan Burns and Gina Ferrara.
Burns edits the poetry magazine Solid Quarter. She has been published in Jacket Magazine, Callaloo, New Laurel Review, YAWP Journal and the Big Bridge New Orleans Anthology.
Ferrara’s poems have appeared in numerous journals including Poetry East, The Briar Cliff Review and Callaloo. She recently was published in The Poetry Ireland Review. She coordinates Poetry Buffet, the reading series of the New Orleans Public Library.
The reading at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 22, will feature Joel Dailey and Bill Lavender.
Dailey is best known for Fell Swoop!, a magazine he’s published for decades. He has published several books including “Industrial Loop,” “Nutria Bounce,” “Lower 48,” “Release Window,” “Ambulance” and “Doppler Effects.”
Lavender founded Lavender Ink, a small press devoted mainly to poetry, in 1995. He founded Diálogos, an imprint devoted to cross-cultural literatures, in 2011. His poems, stories and essays have appeared in dozens of print and Web journals and anthologies.
The reading at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 29, will feature José Torres-Tama and Melinda Palacio.
Torres-Tama has been touring the country since 1995 with solo shows that thrive on a fusion of spoken word prose, bilingual poetry, rituals of fire, symbolic movement and exaggerated personae. He is the recipient of a Louisiana Theater Fellowship and Regional Artist Project Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Palacio is a 2007 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Rosenthal Fellow. Her poetry chapbook, “Folsom Lockdown,” won Kulupi Press’ Sense of Place Award in spring 2010. Her work has been published in BorderSenses, Buffalo Carp, Black Renaissance Noire, PALABRA: a Magazine of Chicano/Latino Literary Art, Poets and Artists, and many others.
For information about programs at the 15 branches of the Jefferson Parish Library, go to www.jplibrary.net.