South Florida State College celebrates National Poetry Month with a series of poetry workshops and an open mic night in April.

 The free workshops are intended for people of all ages and experience, from beginners to seasoned writers. Each workshop will offer quick writing prompts, exercises, and friendly feedback.  

Participants can attend one or more workshops in April. The workshops will be held in the SFSC Library, which located in the SFSC Tutoring and Learning Center (Building Y) on the SFSC Highlands Campus, Avon Park. Take Entrance 3 or 4 off of College Drive. The workshops start at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 3; Thursday, April 6; Monday, April 10; and Thursday, April 13.

“People often tell me how hard it is to make time to write,” said Claire A. Miller, SFSC librarian and facilitator of the workshops. “These workshops will give people time to write, a group of like-minded people to write with, and play with some fun prompts and techniques.” 

The open mic night at the library, set for Monday, April 17, at 6 p.m., will offer a venue for writers to read their poetry to a receptive audience. “I love how supportive our audiences always are,” Miller said. “Getting up and reading any poem takes courage, and reading your own work is even harder. But over the last few years we’ve offered this program, our audiences and readers have been enthusiastic.”  

Miller said anyone may read on open mic night. She encourages the reading of short poems so that everyone has a chance to participate, and readers should keep language family-friendly.

April also features National Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 27. Promoted by the American Academy of Poets, this event encourages people to carry a poem in their pocket and share it with friends, neighbors, or passersby. The SFSC library offers an assortment of poems in a handy portable form. Pick up a poem from the library on the SFSC Highlands Campus starting April 1 to participate.  

Miller is an active poet, who has led poetry workshops for groups of special needs children at the SFSC Museum of Florida Arts and Culture (MOFAC). She is also a featured reader for the Barbaric Yawp open mic and at Bookstore One in Sarasota. Her poem, “Mask,” was published in “Flying Higher: An Anthology of Superhero Poetry.” 

For more information, contact Miller at 863-784-3325 or millerc@southflorida.edu.