30 days of poetry

April is National Poetry Month, and again this year, Santa Barbara offers a month‑long festival to celebrate. The following are the readings, workshops, and celebrations that shall entertain our literary minds for the next few weeks.

Poetry of Celebration The month starts with a rich, only‑occasionally‑foolish April Fools Day evening in the S.B. Poetry Series, featuring 10 celebrated S.B. poets. Sat., Apr. 1, 7pm; Contemporary Arts Forum, Paseo Nuevo; 966‑1423.

Langston Hughes Day This annual day’s theme is My Soul Has Grown Deep Like the Rivers. It actually goes for two days and features readings and reflection. Tue., Apr. 3, 10am‑4pm; Eastside Library, 962‑3202; and Wed., Apr. 4, noon; the Braille Institute, 682‑4413.

Reds Hot Gather ’round for the Reds Hot open mike poetry affair in the Funk Zone. Thu., Apr. 6, 7pm; Reds Coffee House; 966‑5906.

Spiritual Writing Workshop Led by me, Barry Spacks, this workshop will focus on the interface between poetry writing and dharma teachings. Participants will write poems even if they don’t normally imagine themselves as poets. Sat., Apr. 8, 10am; Vairotsana Foundation, 1524 Anacapa; 899‑8177; register at

WS Merwin As a special glory event, the much‑honored Hawaii‑based poet WS Merwin will give a reading. Thu., Apr. 13, 8pm; UCSB’s Campbell Hall; 893‑3535.

Comic Poems for Tax Day Humor for tax‑day relief. Sat., Apr. 15, 4 pm; The Coffee Cat; 563‑1247.

FAVES S.B.’s Favorite Poems (by others), provides its every third Monday open‑mike event. Mon., Apr. 17, 5:15pm; Blue Agave; 899‑4694.

David Oliveira The poet will read his works inspired by both Santa Barbara and Cambodia. Thu., Apr. 20, 4pm; UCSB’s MultiCultural Center Theater; 893‑8411.

Shakespeare’s Birthday There’s a big bash for Shakespeare’s birthday, with poets reading work inspired by Shakespeare’s writings or by the current SBMA installation From Renaissance to Rococo, an exhibition of masterwork paintings on loan from the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. Sun., Apr. 23, 1pm; S.B. Museum of Art; 884‑6432.

Marathon Reading The poets of April poetry month unleash their magic. Thu., Apr. 27, 7pm; Contemporary Arts Forum, Paseo Nuevo; 966‑1423.

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