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Five Events to Celebrate National Poetry Month in Dallas

"April is the cruelest month," TS Eliot penned to open his poetic triumph, The Wasteland. Poets have written at length about this month filled with spring showers and a sense of renewal. Odgen Nash exhorted readers to marry an April girl; Robert Frost described the days of April as blue butterflies. It's a month that marks the end of hibernation, when skin sees rays of the sun and wind whips through screen doors. Perhaps for all of these reasons, in 1996 the Academy of American Poets deemed April National Poetry Month. While the initiatives are education based, everyone is encouraged to celebrate by writing, reading and memorizing a few stanzas.

This would also be a great chance to venture out into the small, but mighty poetry community here in Dallas. We've compiled a few of them here, to add to your calendar.

Poetry Out Loud Where: Banter Denton, 219 W. Oak St, Denton When: 8 p.m., Monday April 14 What: A monthly celebration of local poets, this curated evening features 10 poets, who will read their work aloud at Banter.

Forth Worth Poetry Slam Where: 907 Houston St., Fort Worth When: 8 p.m., Tuesday, April 15 & 29 What: This monthly poetry slam showcases some of the area's finest spoken word artists and gives budding poets an opportunity to perform. If you've never attended a poetry slam before, this month would be a great time to experience the rhythm of language.

Dallas Poetry Slam Where: Heroes Sports Bar & Grill, 7402 Greenville Ave. When: Friday, April 18 & 25 Sign up at 7:30 p.m./ Show at 8 p.m. Cost: $5 What: Since 1994, the Dallas Poetry Slam is a weekly opportunity for spoken word artists to compete. The featured guest April 18 is the award-winning poet Sasha Banks.

Pandora's Box Poetry Showcase Where: Margo Jones Theater, 1121 First Ave. When: 8 p.m., Monday, April 21 What: Curated by local poet and critic, Christopher Soden, this monthly night of poetry at Fair Park's Margo Jones Theater brings in major players in the Dallas literary scene. This month, MadSwirl founding editor Johnny O. will be the featured guest at Pandora's Box.

Natty Roots & Rhyme feat. Dominique Christina Where: Jamaica Gates, 1020 W. Arkansas, Arlington When: 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 23 Cost: $5 before 10 p.m., $10 after What: This evening combines poetry and music for an evening of rhythm and rhyme. Wednesday, April 23 the night features World Poetry Slam champion Dominique Christina.

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