National Poetry Month with Cleveland Public Library and Ohio Center for the Book


The Ohio Center for the Book (OCFB) at Cleveland Public Library is celebrating National Poetry Month in April with two programs to inspire writers and lovers of poetry and the spoken word. We encourage you to attend and to spread the word! We’ll also be highlighting Ohio poetry and poets on our social media channels in April, so follow OCFB on Twitter and Facebook.

Open Mic Poetry Reading with Cardell Belfoure

Come share your own work or a favorite piece or simply enjoy listening to original works of poetry and spoken word as we celebrate National Poetry Month with special guest poet Cardell Belfoure, formerly with the ID13 Prison Literacy Project.

Saturday, April 8 | 1:00 p.m.
Main Library, 2nd Floor
325 Superior Avenue

About Cardell Belfoure

Cardell Belfoure describes himself as a “spoken word artist, motivational speaker, life coach, etc.” and is also known as MIGHTY ROC! He also runs Poetic Companions, a collective of Cleveland area poets. Find out more about Cardell Belfoure in the Ideastream Public Media article, “Poetic Reentry: From A Rooftop, A Beacon Of Light” with an extended audio interview available on the site as well. Also, check out Cardell Belfoure reading his work “For Better or For Worse” online.

Virtual Poetry Reading with Kari Gunter-Seymour

Please join us on Zoom as we close out our celebration of National Poetry Month with a virtual poetry reading by Ohio Poet Laureate Kari Gunter-Seymour.

Saturday, April 29 | 1:00 p.m.
Online via Zoom

About Kari Gunter-Seymour

Kari Gunter-Seymour was born in Warren and raised in Athens County, Ohio. Named Ohio Poet of the Year 2020, she is the editor of the 2022 anthology I Thought I Heard A Cardinal Sing, Ohio’s Appalachian Voices; and author of A Place So Deep Inside America It Can’t Be Seen: Poems (Sheila-Na-Gig Editions, long-listed for the 2020 Julie Suk Award); and Serving (Crisis Chronicles Press, runner-up Yellow Chair Review Chapbook Contest). Her work was selected by former U. S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey to be included in the PBS American Portrait crowdsourced poem, Remix: For My People. A ninth-generation Appalachian, Gunter-Seymour is executive director and founder of the non-profit Women of Appalachia ProjectTM. Find out more about Kari Gunter-Seymour and her work at


Discover the power and beauty of words at your local library with National Poetry Month! Celebrate the written and spoken word with a month-long series of events, workshops, and readings featuring renowned poets and local literary talents. Immerse yourself in the world of verse and ignite your passion for poetry. Join us at the library and let poetry move you.

Open Mic Night

Step up to the mic and share a favorite poem or your original work of verse.
Tuesday, April 11 | 4:30 p.m.
East 131st Street

Rockport Immortal Poets Society (R.I.P.S.)

Seeking local poets to discuss famous poets and poetry including Walt Whitman (March 14), Robert Frost (April 4), Maya Angelou (April 18), and Allen Ginsberg (May 16), and to create new poetry to read, critique, and re-read.
Tuesdays, March 14, April 4 & 18, and May 16
4:45 p.m.

Blackout Poetry

Join us the entire month of April for impromptu blackout poetry. Grab supplies at the front desk and add your poem to our collage.
April 1 – 30
West Park

Poem In My Pocket

We’re playing with words and poetry. Reading aloud from Kenn Nesbitt’s hilarious and silly poems will inspire us to write poems of our own to keep in our pockets and share with friends and family.
Monday, April 24 | 4:00 p.m.