April is National Poetry Month, which means Whatcom's rhymers and writers young and old will get the chance to gather and share their poetry at a variety of events throughout the county.
Along with giving everyone an excuse to put their creative juices to work, the month, first started by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, is meant to increase the role of poetry in places like school classrooms, as well as highlight the work of American poets, dead and alive.
Both the Whatcom County Library System and Bellingham Public Libraries have a variety of events geared for families, kids and teens to celebrate the month and to encourage poets to share their verse.
SOUTH WHATCOM LIBRARY GRAND OPENING
April also marks the official grand opening of the new South Whatcom Library, located in a renovated red barn at 8 Barn View Court, in Gate 2, Sudden Valley.
The official celebration and ribbon cutting will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 12.
The day's events will include remarks from public officials, performances by the Bellingham ukulele club, juggler Jules McEvoy, and Welcome Marrionettes, light refreshments, and other programs for people all ages.
There will also be a scavenger hunt to familiarize patrons with the new space, through 5 p.m., branch manager Karin Schulhauser said.
Below, a list of free, family-friendly poetry and library events this month:
POETRY IN THE ROUND
Whatcom County Library System presents "Poetry in the Round," a night of poetry readings from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, April 11 at Deming Library, 5044 Mount Baker Highway.
The library is looking for poets and appreciators of poetry willing to share one poem, either an original piece or a favorite by someone else, aloud. Leave your name at the front counter if you are interested in participating. Treats and coffee will be served.
People of all ages are welcome to attend. More information: 360-305-3600
FOREST OF WORDS POETRY SLAM
Teens in grades six through 12 are invited to celebrate National Poetry Month by listening to exciting readings, sharing their poetry and collaborating on a group poem from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 16, at Ferndale Library, 2007 Cherry St.
Snacks will be provided. For details, call Dianne at 360-305-3600.
Visitors to Island Library can give and take a piece of poetry from the salad bowl all month. Island Library is located at 2144 South Nugent Road, on Lummi Island.
Patrons of all ages are also invited to enter the library's limerick contest and have fun with words. Details: 360-305-3600.
POETRYNIGHT @ THE BELLINGHAM PUBLIC LIBRARY
Poetrynight is a weekly event held from 8 to 10 p.m. each Monday in the lecture room at Bellingham Public Library, 210 Central Ave.
As a treat for National Poetry Month, two nights this month will feature special guests. Jade Sylvan, an award-winning poet from Boston, will be featured April 14, and Elizabeth Austen, the Washington State Poet Laureate, will visit April 21.
For more information, contact Katie at 360-778-7230.