Largo, MD – The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) invites the community to celebrate the gift of libraries and poetry this April. In commemoration of National Poetry Month, the Library hosts a series of programs to encourage poets and spoken word artists of all ages to share their work. Poets are also invited to submit to the second annual PGCMLS Poetry Contest. This year’s theme (“Sending a Love Poem to Your Library”) invites submissions discussing how and why poets love their local library. Submissions are accepted from all ages through April 30 at pgcmls.info/poetry and winners will be announced in May.
The week of April 4-10 marks National Library Week, a national program that brings library workers, customers, and advocates together to champion the contributions of libraries throughout the country. The party extends to the full month of April at PGCMLS with “Love Your Library” Month. Explore opportunities to engage with the work of the Library through advocacy at pgcmls.info/activate.
April literary events feature rising authors whose work across genres inspires readers to appreciate the diversity of the community. Featured authors include Morgan Rogers (“Honey Girl”), Alina Boyden (“Gifting Fire”), and Maggie Thrash (“Honor Girl” and “Lost Soul, Be At Peace”). The Library also launches the Golden 30s series, 30-minute programs for seniors to access online or via telephone that showcase resources and providers that serve Prince George’s County. The monthly series kicks-off on Thursday, April 8 at 11 am and each monthly program is available on demand for one month.
National Poetry Month Events
Friday, April 16 at 3 pm | Ages 5-12
This celebration features a story about the poetry and life of Gwendolyn Brooks.
April 16-18 | All Ages
The Prince George’s County Arts and Humanities Council hosts this weekend-long festival of poetry. Four sessions explore: “Ekphrastic Poetry – What Do You See” (April 16 at 4 pm), “Generations Apart, Yet Still Connected” (April 17 at 1 pm), “State of the Wor(l)d” (April 17 at 4 pm), and “Community Check-in and Healing Conversation” (April 18 at 3 pm). Featured guests include Maryland State Senator Melony Griffith, Prince George’s County Youth Poet Laureates from 2016 to present, Maryland State Poet Laureate Grace Cavalieri, and Prince George’s County Poet Laureate Sistah Joy Alford.
Thursday, April 22 at 4 pm
Join an analysis of U.S. Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman’s poem, “The Hill We Climb,” shared at President Biden’s Inauguration. A teen open mic will follow the conversation.
Wednesday, April 28 at 7 pm | All ages
In collaboration with Creative Suitland, PGCMLS hosts a monthly virtual open mic for poets and spoken word artists of all ages. Prince George’s County Poet Laureate Sistah Joy Alford hosts.
Tuesday, April 6 at 7 pm | Adults
Join a riveting conversation with Morgan Rogers on her book, “Honey Girl.” It has been named a Most Anticipated title of 2021 by Oprah Magazine among other notable publications. “Honey Girl is an emotional, heartfelt, charming debut, and I loved every moment of it,” says Jasmine Guillory, New York Times bestselling author of “The Proposal.”
Tuesday, April 13 at 7 pm | Adults
PGCMLS hosts a national book launch event with author Alina Boyden, whose fantasy novel “Gifting Fire” is published on April 13, 2021. “Gifting Fire” is the sequel to Boyden’s acclaimed debut novel, “Stealing Thunder.”
Thursday, April 15 at 7 pm | Adults
Maggie Thrash is the author of the critically acclaimed graphic memoirs “Honor Girl” (a Los Angeles Times Book Prize nominee) and “Lost Soul, Be at Peace.” Their fiction works include the noir-ish mysteries “Strange Truth” and “Strange Lies,” which are set at an oppressive Southern prep school.
Wednesday, April 21 at 7 pm | Adults
Ellen Ann Fentress, W. Ralph Eubanks, Paulette Boudreaux, and Kyla Hanington discuss The Academy Stories/Admissions project, led by Ellen Ann Fentress, which publishes first-person accounts from students who took part of–or ran away from–school integration since its 1970 start in the South. The essays, collected online, are an opportunity for now-adult writers to examine how the school experience formed (or malformed) their racial consciousness. The Washington Post, Slate, Mother Jones, The Hechinger Report, Forbes and The American Conservative have all featured the truth-telling project.
- Thursday, April 8 at 11 am: Golden 30 Series: Social Distance, Not Isolation (Seniors)
- Friday, April 9 at 12 pm: STEM at Home: Monster Mouths (Ages 5-12)
- Tuesday, April 13 at 4 pm: Teen Coding Club
- Wednesday, April 14 at 2 pm: Corporate Partnership Building for Non-Profit Fundraising (Adults)
- Friday, April 23 at 4 pm: Teen Jeopardy: Hip-Hop Culture
- Monday, April 26 at 10:30 am: Storytime on Screen with Old Greenbelt Theatre (Ages 5 and under)
- Tuesday, April 27 at 7 pm: The Elephant We Don’t See: A Diversity Dialogue “The Mis-Education of the Negro” by Carter Woodson (Adults)
About the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System
The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) helps customers discover and define opportunities that shape their lives. The Library serves the 915,000+ residents of Prince George’s County, Maryland through 19 branch libraries, a 24/7 online library, and pop-up services throughout the community. PGCMLS is a responsive and trusted community-driven organization. Programs, services, and outreach activities serve booklovers, immigrants and refugees, job seekers, children, young professionals, seniors, and families alike.
PGCMLS’ robust online offerings include curated content collections for kids, teens, educators, Spanish speakers, and more. Virtual events and outreach provide access to the Library from the comfort of home or on the go. Special programs include the D.R.E.A.M. Lab, STEM Pals, and 3D printing, which offer teens and lifelong learners with opportunities to learn cutting-edge technology and STEM skills for job readiness or personal enrichment. The Library also provides drive-up WiFi access at all branches and mobile hotspot devices. The Library’s Laurel Branch Library received the 2018 AIA/ALA Library Building Award and was designated the best new public building in Maryland.
As a strong community partner, the Library regularly collaborates with local government agencies and non-profit organizations to provide access to essential community services and programs. Partners include the Prince George’s County Human Relations Commission, Employ Prince George’s, Prince George’s County Public Schools, and Prince George’s Community College. Learn more at pgcmls.info or by visiting the Largo-Kettering Branch at 9601 Capital Lane, Largo, MD 20721. Curbside Services are available Tuesday-Friday (1-6 pm) and Saturday (1-5 pm) at 16 of the Library’s branches.