Artwork by Samantha Aikman. Line excerpted from the poem “Remember” by Joy Harjo, from She Had Some Horses (W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1983)
From Neshama Franklin, host of Marin Poets Live:
A few years ago I had the enormous pleasure of interviewing more than 50 Marin County poets to create an archive of their work in their own voices. Here it is, National Poetry Month, and it seems like a good time to let their work shine again. As T.S. Eliot put it, April is the cruelest month*, and we might concur, especially considering what we’re all going through now. But I’ve seen poetry provide great solace–it’s all over the internet, passed like talismans and prayers from soul to soul. So take a look at these brave, illuminated local folks who took the time to share their innermost selves with us.
*Verse from T.S. Elliott’s The Wasteland:
April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Marin Poets Live! is a public access television show presented by Marin County Free Library. The show introduces local Marin poets and delves into their reasons for writing and the influence that living in Marin County has had on their poetry.
The full playlist is here. Below, you’ll find a few selections from the archives:
Kay Ryan, U.S. Poet Laureate 2008
Terry Lucas, Marin Poet Laureate 2019-2021:
Jane Hirschfield, whose ninth books of poems, Ledger, has just been released:
Hirschfield also wrote a poem about sheltering in place on March 23, 2020, which you can read in this article in the SF Chronicle.
More Poetry Readings to Enjoy Online
Library of Congress has complied a list of Online Poetry Audio Recordings of poets old and new.
Listen to recordings by Margaret Atwood, Audre Lorde, Robert Frost, Gwendolyn Brooks, Elizabeth Bishop,Langston Hughes, Allen Ginsberg and many more.
Looking for publishing opportunities, funding, MFA programs?
Poets & Writers is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization serving creative writers to promote the professional development of poets and writers. Find information on publishing, writing contests, and workshops.
Other National Poetry Month Activities
Find virtual poetry readings near you.
Sign up for Poem-a-Day to receive a poem in your inbox daily.
And as you shelter in place, you can Shelter in Poems. The Academy of American Poets asked their readers to share a poem that helps to find courage, solace, and actionable energy, and a few words about how or why it does so. Maybe you too can find shelter there.
Written by Neshama, Shereen, and Ana.