Claudia Rankine

Source: MacArthur Foundation / MacArthur Foundation

Black Poetry Day on October 17th honors past and present black poets. The day also commemorates the birth of the first published black poet in the United States. Jupiter Hammon was born in Long Island, New York, on October 17, 1711.

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The day celebrates the importance of black heritage and literacy. It also recognizes the contributions made by black poets and shows appreciation to black authors.

Take up a quiet spot at the library to read many of the talented black poets from around the world. Or find a poetry reading at a nearby bookstore, cultural or arts center like the Furious Flower Poetry Center at James Madison University. The first center of its kind in the United States, The Furious Flower’s name is inspired by a poem written by former U.S. Poet Laureate Gwendolyn Brooks. They also have a growing collection of resources, offer workshops and so much more.

17th Annual Poets House Poetry Walk Across The Brooklyn Bridge

Source: Jim Spellman / Getty

HOW TO OBSERVE #BlackPoetryDay

Host a poetry slam in your living room, front step, or in the break room. Encourage a black poet you know. Attend a poetry reading or share your own poetry. Pick up some poetry written by black poets and use #BlackPoetryDay to post on social media.


Black Poetry Day was established in 1985.

source:  National Day Calendar

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