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Field Theories book
Kirby McCurtis
Published: 17 April 2018

April is National Poetry Month, and the library has lots of ways to help you celebrate poets and poetry. Throughout the month, library locations are featuring displays of poetry, in addition to special poetry readings and performances. At North Portland Library, you’ll find poetry displays featuring African American poets and poetry for young readers. If you don’t see a display at your neighborhood library, be sure to ask a staff person. We would love to share new and classic titles with you.

Visit the library website for more poetry recommendations and upcoming events, including monthly writing workshops and open mic nights, because at the library we celebrate poetry every day.

Reading Recommendations 

For adults:

Field Theories by Samiya A. Bashir (a local author who frequently performs in the area)

Brown by Kevin Young

Don’t Call us Dead by Danez Smith

Electric Arches by Eve L. Ewing

Silencer by Marcus Wicker


For young readers:

For Everyone by Jason Reynolds

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Boy by Tony Medina

I am Loved by Nikki Giovanni

Hey Black Child by Useni Eugene Perkins

Black Girl Magic by Mahogany L. Browne


Poetry Events 

An Evening with Kwame Alexander, Friday, April 20: Multnomah County Library welcomes poet, educator, and bestselling author Kwame Alexander to Portland for a special event at Alberta Rose Theatre at 6:30 p.m. Free admission. His latest book for young readers is Rebound. Kwame Alexander's visit is made possible by gifts to The Library Foundation, a local nonprofit dedicated to our library's leadership, innovation and reach through private support.

Poetry from the Soul, Saturday, April 21: Join the library in celebrating Black women’s voices, The event begins at 1 p.m. at Hollywood Library and features performances by Turiya Autry, Blacque Butterfly, and Shalanda Sims.

Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance, Sunday, April 22: Explore the contributions of Langston Hughes, one of the most visible writers of the Harlem Renaissance. Hollywood Library at 3 p.m.

In Rhymes and In Life, Thursday, April 26: Young poets are invited to a spoken word workshop with hip hop artist Mic Crenshaw at Hillsdale Library at 4 p.m. Registration is required.

Street Roots Vendors Poetry Reading, Sunday, April 29: Central Library hosts a poetry reading featuring poetry written and performed by Street Roots vendors. The event begins at 2 p.m. and includes complimentary refreshments.

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