22 Biographies and Memoirs for National Poetry Month

Shelf Renewal

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

Share the stories and struggles of the writers behind the words with your poetry-loving patrons.

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American Isis: The Life and Art of Sylvia Plathby Carl Rollyson

And Bid Him Sing: A Biography of Countee Cullenby Charles Molesworth

Anna of All the Russias: The Life of Anna Akhmatovaby Elaine Feinstein

Anne Sexton: A Biography, by Diane Wood Middlebrook

Becoming Modern: The Life of Mina Loyby Carolyn Burke

The Circle of Hahnby Bruce Weigl

Dylan Thomas: A New Life, by Andrew Lycett

E. E. Cummings: A Life, by Susan Cheever

Firebird: A Memoirby Mark Doty

The Friendship: Wordsworth and Coleridgeby Adam Sismansavage beauty

I Celebrate Myself: The Somewhat Private Life of Allen Ginsberg, by Bill Morgan

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou

John Clareby Jonathan Bate

The Liar’s Club, by Mary Karr

Mistress Bradstreet: The Untold Life of America’s First Poetby Charlotte Gordon

My Wars Are Laid Away in Books: The Life of Emily Dickinson, by Alfred Habegger

The Prisoner’s Wifeby Asha Bandele

Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay, by Nancy Mitfordwit in the dungeon

Shakespeare: The Biography, by Peter Ackroyed

Track Conditionsby Michael Klein

The Wit in the Dungeon: The Remarkable Life of Leigh Hunt, by Anthony Holden

You Come Too: My Journey with Robert Frostby Lesley Lee Francis



About the Author:

Karen Kleckner Keefe is the director of the Hinsdale (IL) Public Library, a Booklist reviewer, and one of Library Journal's 2009 "Movers and Shakers." Follow her on Twitter at @KarenKleckner.

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