DIY Magnetic Poetry

Stop by any JDL branch during the month of April (Poetry Month!) to pick up a magnetic poetry kit, while supplies last. This DIY kit helps with creativity and encourages kids to discover poetry.

17th Annual Young Poets Awards Ceremonies

Join us to celebrate this year’s Young Poets winners! This year, there will be three virtual ceremonies, each featuring a specific age group:

Grades K-5 Ceremony: April 20, 6 PM (Watch here)

Featuring: Kenn Nesbitt, Award-winning poet and US Children’s Poet Laureate (2013-2015)


Grades 6-8 Ceremony: April 21, 6 PM (Watch here)

Featuring: Madison Ganzak, Roosevelt High School (Wyandotte, MI), 2021 Michigan Poetry Out Loud State Champion


Grades 9-12 Ceremony: April 22, 6 PM

Featuring: Nikki Giovanni, Award-winning poet, NAACP Image Awardee and University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech.


You can watch these events on our Facebook page and YouTube channel. Each ceremony will premiere on the date and time listed above, and will also be available for later viewing if you are unable to attend.

“Poets Among Us,” Jackson District Library Young Poets Contest 2021

Have you imagined riding on a space ship? Or building a snowman that reaches the sky! These themes and many more are what you can write about for the 17th Annual Young Poets Contest!

If you are a K-12 student in Jackson County, JDL invites you to submit one (1) original poem by March 1, 2021.

For contest guidelines, the entry form, and resources that you can use to spark your imagination, visit the Young Poets page.

Voice It: Black Poetry Discussion Panel

This virtual intergenerational panel will engage in discussion on how themes from the new Library of America Anthology, African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song edited by Kevin Young, reflect lived experiences.


Dr. Pamela Ross McClain, a scholar of African American literature at the University of Michigan Flint, will open the dialogue on how African American poets have captured the cultural experiences of African Americans, and inspired a legacy of creative expression, resistance, uniqueness, and resilience.


This program will take place on Zoom and will be livestreamed on Facebook. To join on Zoom, click here.

For a list of suggested reading to celebrate Black History Month, click here.



Jackson District Library was one of 49 institutions in the United States to receive the Lift Every Voice grant, which is administered by the Library of America, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, in partnership with The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

African American Read-In Chain

The Jackson District Library and the Jackson Branch of the NAACP will host the first African American Read-In Chain for Jackson County on February 23, 2019. During the month of February, schools, churches, libraries, community and professional organizations are urged to make literacy a significant part of African American History Month by displaying and promoting the works of African American authors.

Jackson County residents, inclusive of all ages and nationalities, may sign-up to read a selection from a book, recite a poem or choose a portion from a book all written by an African American author during this Community Read-In.

The finale will feature Kevin Collins and his Kuungana African Drum and Dance Company of Flint, MI. Their energetic dance moves and the vibrant sounds of African drums will weave together the excitement of literacy and cultural. Be a part of this celebratory event as Jackson County joins the “chain” of over 6 million participants reading works by African American authors.

Originated through the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English in 1989, the event is now supported by the National Council of Teachers of English and endorsed by the International Reading Association.

Contact the Community Engagement Department of the Jackson District Library for more information. Call at 517-788-4099 ext. 1317 or email at