National Poetry Month April 2023

National Poetry Month was inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets celebrating poetry’s vital place in our culture.

2023 Poem of the Week

Each Monday, we’ll reveal our poet and poem of the week starting on April 4! National Poetry Month content will be available on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, so follow along on your favorite platform.

This week we welcome Anne Yarbrough, 2023 Individual Artist Fellow, Literature: Poetry, as she recites her poem, “After Peak Oil.”

This week we welcome Chris Penna, 2023 Individual Artist Fellow, Literature: Poetry, as he recites his poem, “Snapshot.”

This week we welcome Nathan Zhao, senior at the Charter School of Wilmington, and a 2023 Gold Key winner for his poetry portfolio in the Delaware Regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

Nathan, what does poetry mean to you?

To me, poetry takes advantage of language’s innate connotations, crafting metaphors and ideas that cannot be replaced by any other art form. Because unlike movies, music, or painting, poetry allows the reader to fully imagine every scene and create meanings upon their own experiences. Writing poetry, poets express an abstract, distilled version of themselves that no one can judge.

Untitled 2

After waking, I readily managed

to write the last few remembered

moments of one night’s dream.

Like any other accident

on the TV, a single pure-white

car perfectly upturned and smoking

in its glorious nature. & before

anyone else came, enveloped

by fog and a ring

of suburban townhouses

and opened windows, I finally

reached the middle of the railroad tracks

to witness: a man, perfectly

lifeless, with his body neatly torn

open and presenting his delicate

and almost-living innards –

an authentic

mannequin. He was aged as if

he were my father’s father,

or at least similar to any other

Chinese fatherly figure

I met once

or twice

or a few times

in Shanghai

in a childhood

I cannot exactly remember.

& I reached between two slices

of his fragmented half

of a rib cage

to hold a shard

of a side-view

mirror placed upon his heart.

I stared at it.

Not because of a self

-obsession, but because I

felt convinced it was necessary.

Until I woke, my face

deformed into a flesh

I could not recognize.

Like the childish

impression of a brightest sun.

Yet before waking, I spotted

in the corner of my vision.

How his head was crushed

by some God’s grand temple.


Many times, I think of this dream

and often need to set my head

down. I try to remember

how everything appeared,

but nothing can replace

the intricate architecture

of the man inside. The anatomy

at the front of biology

class, the photographs I’ve searched

of car-accident casualties,

and the surgical measurements

I imagine real scientists possess

fall short of the faded

memory of the man inside.

It is all so static now. Still,

I am forever lucky

since I wrote a few descriptions

the morning I awoke, since

by reviewing, I deduce the details

that I may have missed,

write them,

& read them


This week we welcome Maiss Hussein, senior at the Charter School of Wilmington, and a 2023 Gold Key winner for his poetry portfolio in the Delaware Regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Maiss Hussein is a junior at Hodgson Vo-Tech, where she is a part of the dental assistant program. Maiss plans to major in and pursue a career in dental hygiene. She is passionate about her field of study and has competed in the Health Occupations Students of America competition. She is active in her school community and is a leader and board member of multiple diversity & equity groups. 

Watch 2023’s Poetry Out Loud competition below!

National Poetry Month Archive

Local Poetry Events:

DelawareScene logo

Check out for additional literary and poetry events now, soon, and near you.

Follow Us



Division Programs

Poetry Out Loud Recitation Contest

Delaware Poet Laureate

Delaware Writers Retreat (biennial)


Regional Resources

Delaware Poetry Review

Delaware Writers Studio

Wilmington Writers Conference

Lewes Writers Conference

Rehoboth Beach Writers Guild


National Resources

Academy of American Poets

Poetry Foundation


Arts Opportunities