National Poetry Month

The Academy of American Poets started National Poetry Month in April 1996 to celebrate the vital place poetry has in our culture. With thousands of local events, it is one of the largest celebrations of poetry in the world. 


Credit: mh

Teachers: Visit the free MY HERO Lesson Plan for National Poetry Month for this film program. Includes discussion guide and learning outcomes.

Students are encouraged to submit original poetry and art, film and audio illustrating a poem to the Mattie J. T. Stepanek Poetry Contest.

Films | Poetry Recitals

David Milch Reads from Deadwood at The MY HERO Project's 2015 Jazz and Poetry Salon

Produced by:The MY HERO Project

David Milch Reads The Eulogy of Wild Bill Hickok from Deadwood at The MY HERO Project's 2015 Jazz and Poetry Salon.

Paul Cummins Reads Robert Frost @ MY HERO SALON 4/18/13

Producer: MY HERO

New Visions Foundation founder, Paul Cummins, reads Robert Frost at the MY HERO poetry and jazz SALON 4/18/13.

History will be Repeated

Produced by:Trey Carlisle
Trey Carlisle's electrifying performance of his original spoken word poem promoting tolerance.

Olivia Milch Reads Wild Geese at The MY HERO Project's 2015 Jazz and Poetry Salon

Produced by:The MY HERO Project

Olivia Milch Reads Wild Geese by Mary Oliver at The MY HERO Project's 2015 Jazz and Poetry Salon.

Poet Against Prejudice [Trailer]

Producer: Faiza Almontaser - Director Albert Maysles - Mentor
Created through with support from, Faiza shares her journey of using her poetry to fight against discrimination.

Short Film Program | Poetic Cinema

The following films celebrate poetic cinema. Films and poetry have a connection because of their use of images, sound, and time. 

As you watch these films, consider the techniques used by filmmakers to bring out these elements in poetry.

The Peace of Wild Things

Katy Wang
When despair for the world grows in me… ...I come into the peace of wild things. ~Wendell Barry

To The Boy - for Mattie J.T. Stepanek

Produced by:Alana Daly Mulligan
Mattie's life philosophy was to play after every storm, so now, when we all feel tossed about but the waves of our world, we must remember to hold onto hope.

Still I Rise

Gabriel Diamond, Patrick Barnes, Phil Collis
A visual and musical interpretation of American poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou’s electrifying poem "Still I Rise."

The Window Pain

Zack Dictakis
My dad, Nick Dictakis, was a stoic man. He didn't ever share his artistic expression. After he passed in 2016, I found a box of poetry and a notebook titled "Attempts at Poetry by Nick Dictakis" filled with beautiful words and jarring poetic story telling.

Playas de Tijuana

Sophie Kim
An inspiring poem about the border fence that meets the sea, where names become prayers and where “the worst place to be is here and not there.”

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Produced by:Taft High School

Taft High School student, Matthew Marroquin, takes on the task of illustrating this poem by Robert Frost.

My Black Everything

Cara McPhie
A poetic film in honor and celebration of Black History Month. Made by a MY HERO intern.

The Beauty

Pascal Schelbli
What if plastic could be integrated into sea life?

Learn about National Poetry Month with Hero Essays

Amanda Gorman: The Poet Who Healed a Nation

By: Shannon Luders-Manuel
Amanda Gorman, America's first Youth Poet Laureate, recited the original poem "The Hill We Climb" at the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

Mattie Stepanek: For Our World

Mattie Stepanek: For Our World Mattie's poems of peace and hope have touched millions of lives.

Langston Hughes

By: Jeff Trussell

Langston Hughes was a one of the greatest poets of the Harlem Renaissance.

Matsuo Bashō

By: Dylan Rock

Matsuo Bashō, from the Edo period in Japan, is known as the greatest master of Haiku.

Ilse Bing

By: Wendy Jewell
Ilse Bing was a remarkable poet and photographer whose works withstand the test of time.

Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz

By: Becky from Spokane

Sor Juana is a famous Mexican writer, poet, nun, and influential women's right leader from the late 17th century.


Edna St. Vincent Millay

By: Carl Van Vechten

Langston Hughes

By: Carl Van Vechten

Profile of Fairuz

By: Sobhia Hasan

Mahmoud Darwish

By: Sobhia Hasan

Christine de Pisan

By: unknown

Phillis Wheatley

By: Unknown artist, originally appeared in <br>Revue des Colonies in Paris betwe...

Portrait of William Shakespeare

By: Courtesy of The Cobbe Family Trust

Allegorical Portrait of Dante

By: Bronzino

Walt Whitman by Robert Shetterly,

By: Robert Shetterly

Langston Hughes

By: Robert Shetterly

Sappho of Eressos

By: Roman copy of Greek original - 5th Century BC
"A good poem helps to change the shape and significance of the universe, helps to extend everyone's knowledge of himself and the world around him."
- Dylan Thomas

Effie Waller Smith

By: Unknown

William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939)

By: John Singer Sargent

"A poem...begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness. It is a reaching-out toward expression; an effort to find fulfillment. A complete poem is one where an emotion finds the thought and the thought finds the words."


- Lucille Clifton

The Poet Max Hermann Neisse

By: George Grosz

Portrait of Rabindranath Tagore

By: Surjit Akre

The Poetry of Mihai Eminescu

By: "Group Writers" from Baicoi, Romania

Our Curators


Artwork curated by MY HERO Arts Education and Gallery director Giselle Villatoro. 


Short films curated by MY HERO International Film Festival director Wendy Milette


Hero Stories curated by MY HERO General Editor and Story Director Shannon Luders-Manuel. 


Audio curated by MY HERO Audio director Stu Pearlman. 


Carl Sandburg Reads Poetry For Children, 1959

During his lifetime, Sandburg was widely regarded as "a major figure in contemporary literature"

My Hero Poetry Salon: Wild Geese

By: Written by Mary Oliver

Read by Olivia Milch

Poet Hero: Langston Hughes | Trumpet Player: 52nd Street

Listen to "Trumpet Player," by Langston Hughes, an exploration of African American identity through the character of a jazz trumpeter.

Organizer created on 3/15/2012 2:27:09 PM by Becky Miller

Last edited 4/13/2021 6:59:39 PM by Rachel Priebe