Poetry–Engage, Experience, Create

Poetry goes beyond printed words on a page–it’s an experience. We read, listen, and respond with our own writing. Your library can help you do all three.

Matt Spezia is a 7 time slam champion from Leavenworth Kansas, currently living in Topeka. He was recently named the 2016 slam artist of the year by the national poetry awards. He notes that the appeal of spoken word is the life that the poet breathes into the words. Poetry begins on the page, but it comes to life in spoken word.

“Spoken word poetry is the expression of soul manifested verbally, and the major difference between it and page poetry is the performance. When an artist steps on stage to present poetry they have to be the emotion and the facts in the piece.”

The first step is reading and listening to poetry. Tap into our diverse collection of poetry spanning the last century, and a number of great poets in audio. Check out popular titles, explore Kansas poetry, or browse the poetry section to choose something new. Check out the lists below for some suggestions to get you started.


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Get inspired by poetry in action, then create your own. Sharpen your writing skills with great books by masters of the craft in our literature section or check out our line-up of upcoming writing events to get hands-on. We host skills-based programs every month between April and July, and offer a morning of workshops the third Saturday in August.

Get Involved

The Craft of Poetry

HUSH: A Book of Poetry

Engage, experience, and create. Wherever you are in your journey with poetry, your library has you covered.

Miranda Ericsson

Miranda loves to talk lit! Her favorite reads are poetry, literary fiction, and speculative science fiction, and she's passionate about promoting great literature written by Kansas authors. She works with library programs that support and engage writers in our community, so ask her for more information about the Local Writers Workshop, Great Writers Right Here author fair, and Community Novel Project. Miranda is also a member of the library's Genealogy Team and Fiction Team, facilitates TALK book discussions, and co-leads the Bean There, Read That book discussion group.