National Poetry Month 2021

Poetry Month 2021 Illustration

Celebrating "Together"

This year, the theme of COCC’s National Poetry Month celebration is "Together." Though the college remains closed and many of us are separated physically, we can still find connection in unexpected ways. This page will be updated throughout April, so please check back for creative opportunities to engage with poetry and each other!

COCC EventsNational Poetry Month EventsVirtual Activities More Ways to Celebrate

COCC 2021 Events

Anis Mojgani

Poetry Together: A Conversation and Reading with Anis Mojgani, Oregon Poet Laureate

Poetry month kicked off with an engaging evening with Oregon Poet Laureate, Anis Mojgani. Mojgani is the author of five books of poetry and is a two-time National Poetry Slam champion. When announcing his appointment as Oregon’s 10th Poet Laureate in April 2020, Governor Kate Brown said, "Anis is the pragmatic optimist Oregon needs in these unprecedented times. His words breathe fresh air into the anxiety and negativity that we all feel. He urges us to resolutely reflect in the moment and with each grounding breath, our hearts ‘come closer and come into this."

Click here to watch a recording of the performance.

Also, please enjoy this Willamette Week interview and a reading of "Out of the Garden" at Worldlights in Portland, OR.




Creating Together: Collaborative Poetry Prompt

In the spirit of "Together"-ness, we would like to invite the COCC community to help us create a shared poem that can be contributed to, updated, and enjoyed throughout the month of April.

The concept for this poem comes from the pantoum, a Malaysian form with repeating lines that allow writers to meditate on an idea by turning it over and over in their minds. The repetition in a pantoum also provides a creative opportunity for collaboration as writers are able to express their own ideas while a connective thread of repeated lines and images binds the poem together.

For our purposes, we thought a less-structured approach would give us more freedom while still utilizing repetition. So, instead of strictly following the form of a traditional pantoum, we are using it as more of an inspiration. If you’d like to participate, click here for instructions and get started!

For questions, please contact Eileen Sather ( or Emily Moxley (



Reading Together: COCC Community Shares Poems

This website will be updated throughout the month of April with recordings of COCC faculty, staff, and students reading poems.

Watch the Barber Library Poetry Month 2021 Playlist on YouTube >>

COCC Poetry Offerings

Poetry Month: Environmental Poetry for Earth Day

This Continuing Education class taught by Irene Cooper will meet online April 8 and April 22, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Registration costs $49. Registration for COCC employees with a tuition waiver costs $10.

COCC Poetry Guide

Explore COCC Barber Library and Internet resources related to Poetry, curated by a COCC librarian.

National Poetry Month Events

Sierra Poetry Festival

April 10-11, 2021
Two days of readings, performances, workshops, and youth events! Free! Register here in advance.

Virtual Reading at the Strand Bookstore

10-11 a.m. Sunday, April 11, 2021
This performance features Samira Negrouche & Marilyn Hacker + Philip Metres: The Olive Trees’ Jazz and Other Poems. Free! 

New York Public Library Writing Happy Hour

11 a.m.-12 p.m. Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Free, live creative writing hour. No formal writing experience required, just enthusiasm! 

Forever is Composed of Nows: A Poetry Celebration of Emily Dickinson

11 a.m.-12 p.m. Saturday, April 17, 2021
Participants are invited to share and read aloud their favorite poems by Dickinson or any of the poets that she has inspired. Free! 

Poem In Your Pocket Day

2-3 p.m. Thursday, April 22, 2021
Maryhill Museum of Art celebrates Poems in Your Pocket with a workshop on Poem in your Pocket Day. Write a poem based on a piece of art at Maryhill. Free! 

National "Poetry and Creative Mind" Gala

4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 29, 2021
Chaired by Meryl Streep this is the free and virtual annual gala of the Academic of American Poets, bringing together artists and public figures for a reading of favorite poems.


5 Virtual Events through April 2021ReadPoetry offers a safe space to explore identity, diversity, and empowerment, providing a familiar but current look into the human experience. Explore the five events offered throughout Poetry Month at the ReadPoetry website.

Virtual Activities

Blackout Poetry

Make your own "black out" poetry online by coloring over parts of an existing text so that the remaining selected words make a poem. Use sample texts or your own—your finished poem will be downloadable and post-able!

Poem in Your Pocket

New York Public Library will have poems to print out and pocket poems on Twitter/Facebook every day!

Poem Generators

Short cut your way to sad poems, love poems, sonnets, haikus, and limericks! Use a poem generator! Amaze your friends and loved ones!

More Ways to Celebrate