Each year during national poetry month, we host a live poetry cafe in the library. This event has grown from 1 day to 2 days. It is our way of celebrating National Poem in Your Pocket Day, even though it usually falls on a day other than the national celebration. Across the 2 days, every student in the school comes to the library to read poetry into our open microphone.
The tables are set with tablecloths, lanterns, flowers, and some paper flowers, too.
Each year, we try to add something new. This year, we added some cozy seating among the tables so that students could feel a bit closer to the student reading his or her poem.
This year, we also used a Smore to promote the event and keep everything collected in one spot. The Smore held our schedule, link for logging in to watch the poems, pictures from the event, and links to the videos once they were recorded. I also loved that the analytics in the Smore allowed us to see all of the places that our event was being glanced at.
This year, we also added Twitter to the mix by generating our own hashtag #BarrowPoems
I used Twitterfall to display the tweets coming through, and the students loved seeing each and every one. Sometimes I would take a comment out of the chat and tweet it for visitors who didn’t use Twitter themselves. It was so much fun for the students to know that some of our familiar friends from World Read Aloud Day were watching at times during the day. Okle Miller (Florida) and Donna MacDonald (Vermont) tuned in to listen. We also had a library from Rhode Island join us too.
It was a lot to manage all by myself, but it was fun. It is truly amazing to watch almost every student in the school get up in front of their peers and share poetry. It was also inspiring to watch as students stood with their peers who were nervous about sharing.
I hope that you have a few moments to listen to some of the poetry sessions below and share them with friends, families, and students around the world.
We have another packed day tomorrow with poetry readings every 30 minutes from 8-2:30 EST. Join us!