National Poetry Month Activities at Providence Public Library

Take Part in First Writing Across Rhode Island Poetry Write-a-thon & More! 

April is National Poetry Month and the Providence Public Library is celebrating with a number of special poetry reading and writing programs and events!  We invite our poetry-loving public to come and listen to some of Rhode Island’s noted poets, learn from them about how to write poetry, and even submit your own poem as part of this year’s statewide Writing Across Rhode Island Poetry Write-a-thon!  Here’s what’s happening at Providence Public Library!

Poetry Writing Workshop with Poet Kate Schapira - Site Spectacular: Inspiration through Language and Place

Sunday, April 10, 2:00 -3:30 PM

Cost: $10

Providence Public Library, 150 Empire Street (Trustees Room, 3rd floor)

This program is part of the Library’s ongoing Writing with Authors Workshop Series.

Are you an aspiring writer? Take a workshop with a professional author!

Writers in this poetry workshop will work with and within the library itself, transforming observations, images and language drawn from the library’s collections into poems through a variety of short exercises. Especially recommended for writers who have trouble getting started! Please bring a notebook that you can write in standing up (smaller is better) and something to write with. We’ll be reading as well as writing. If you have difficulty walking or standing, please get in touch with us beforehand—we’ll be happy to revise the workshop to make it possible for you.
Registration is encouraged. Please email or call 455-8057 and leave your name and contact information. Please bring cash, check, or money order with you on the day of class. Exact change is appreciated.
Kate Schapira is the author of two books of poetry (TOWN, Factory School, 2010; The Bounty, Noemi Press, forthcoming 2011) and numerous chapbooks. She teaches writing at Brown University, the University of Rhode Island, and as a Writer in the Schools at Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School.


Writing Across Rhode Island: One Poem One Prompt One State

Submit YOUR Poem at PPL!  We’re a Writing Across Rhode Island Participating Library

Got Poetry? Now’s the time to act.  Writing Across Rhode Island is celebrating National Poetry Month with a Poetry Write-a-thon….a Contest, Readings, and an Awards Brunch

Join the statewide initiative to read and write original poems between April 1 - 30.

Visit for submission guidelines and a list of Participating Libraries near you. You can drop your poem off at the Library at either the Circulation Desk (ground level) or on the First Floor (Reference Desk) or submit by fax to 401-455-8001 (Attn: Lisa Miller).


We are pleased to announce that nationally acclaimed Poet Cathleen Calbert has selected a statewide poetry Prompt inspiring Rhode Islanders of all ages to write their own original poem from the same prompt.  Her Poem “Listening to My Mother in the Alzheimer’s Wing” has been chosen to spark and engage writers and readers of poetry at all levels, from students to teachers, from emerging to established writers. Look for the Prompt and Poem posted in libraries, schools and various locations in April. 

Original poems submitted to the Writing Across Rhode Island event will be displayed for public viewing at Participating Libraries in April. One poem per participant; each poem is not to exceed one page. The Prompt must be followed when writing the poem.  Submission Deadline: April 30.


Write a poem in the voice of someone you know: your mother or your childhood friend or the waitress at a local diner.  Your Choice!  Feel free to imagine what this person might say or to incorporate things you’ve heard the person say, or to construct a poem made up entirely of the person’s actual, now re-arranged, words.  The trick, of course, is to take another’s spoken language and to transform it into a poem.

Happy Writing!

All entries will be submitted to Participating Libraries for the Poetry Write a-thon State Competition in May, judged by Cathleen Calbert.  Contest submissions will be blinded with no identifying information. Winning poems will be eligible for possible print and online publication, special awards and poetry readings.


Awards Brunch with Poet Cathleen Calbert including Poetry Readings, Book Fair, Music, Food and Open Mic!

Sunday May 15, 2011    9:30AM -12 Noon 

Paparazzi Trattoria, Garden City, Cranston

To Reserve: email

Writing Across Rhode Island is a project of The Poetry Loft in partnership with participating RI libraries.


Poetry Reading: Tom Chandler, Darcie Dennigan, Lisa Starr and Writing Across Rhode Island Participants at PPL April 30

Celebrate National Poetry Month at the Library with Writing Across Rhode Island: One Poem One Prompt One State

Writing Across Rhode Island  will officially “cap off” Poetry Month with a poetry reading with Tom Chandler, former RI Poet Laureate, and Darcie Dennigan at Providence Public Library on Saturday, April 30 from 1 - 2:30 PM in the Library’s Barnard Room (3rd floor).  A Reading of Prompt Poems by participants will follow!

Tom Chandler is poet laureate of Rhode Island emeritus. He has been named Phi Beta Kappa Poet at Brown University and has been a featured poet at the Robert Frost homestead. Garrison Keillor has read Tom’s poems on National Public Radio on several occasions.

Tom is the author of five books of poetry, including his most recent, Toy Firing Squad. His work has been published in Poetry, Boulevard, The New York Quarterly, The Christian Science Monitor, and many other journals. He holds degrees from Brown and the University of New Hampshire. He is also the founder and editor of the Bryant Literary Review.

Darcie Dennigan is the author of Corinna A-Maying the Apocalypse and the recipient of the Poets Out Loud prize, Discovery/The Nation award, and the Cecil Hemley Award from the Poetry Society of America. Her writings have been published by the Atlantic Monthly, Kenyon Review, Tin House and other journals. She is currently a poet in residence at the University of Connecticut.

In addition to metered and non-metered street parking, discounted parking ($ 3 for 3 hrs.) may be available for program attendees at the Hilton Providence Parking Garage (adjacent to Dunkin Donuts Center).  Please check in with the parking attendant, and bring your ticket to the library circulation desk for validation.