April is National Poetry Month and we are celebrating at the Safety Harbor Public Library! Launched by the Academy of American Poets in April 1996, National Poetry Month reminds the public that poets have an integral role to play in our culture and that poetry matters. Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K–12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, families, and, of course, poets, marking poetry's important place in our lives.
We have a poetry contest for adults, a youth poetry contest, and an open mic poetry reading event at Waterfront Park.
Adult Poetry Contest - Open March 15 to April 14
This year's poetry contest is in memory of the late Roger Howard. To commemorate Roger's love of poetry, Roger's family has donated to host a yearly poetry contest. Dr. Roger Howard was a member of Safety Harbor Writers & Poets for several years until his passing in 2018.
The contest theme is Perseverance. Life has a way of throwing challenges at us on a regular basis. How we persist in doing something despite difficulties or challenges shapes who we are. Compose an original poem that reflects on how a person may persevere. One entry per person.
Entries may be submitted online. Cash prizes: First Place $80, Second Place $70, Third Place $50.
Winners will be determined by a panel of local poets and announced at the library's Poetry by the Pier event on Friday, April 22 at 6:00 pm at the Waterfront Park.
Youth Poetry Contest - Open April 1 to April 30
There are three age ranges: Children (5-8), Tweens (9-12), Teens (13-18). A winner for each age range will win a $25 gift card to a Safety Harbor business. Prizes must be picked up at the library.
One entry per participant. Poetry entries must be appropriate and clean. Poems can be in any format. Poems may be entered as plain text or uploaded as a Word Document or as a PDF file. Winning entries may be published and shared on the library's Social Media pages.
Entries may be submitted online. Winners will be determined by guest judge and local author Laura Kepner.
Poetry by the Pier - Friday, April 30, 6:00pm
We’re celebrating National Poetry Month with a Poetry by the Pier open mic night, at the Waterfront Park under the sail shade. The master of ceremonies for the event will be City of Safety Harbor Poet Laureate, Steve Kistulentz. Our adult Poetry Contest winners will also be announced and awarded during the event.
Anyone is welcome to read a poem - either your own poetry, or a favorite by another poet. Sign up to read when you arrive. Limited picnic table seating - bring your lawn chairs!