The seventh annual National Poetry Month will kick off this week following a change of leadership at the Academy of American Poets, the principal sponsor of the annual celebration.

Tree Swenson, a former publisher and arts administrator, last month was named executive director, succeeding William Wadsworth; Wadsworth and the academy were instrumental in the launching of National Poetry Month. Swenson told PW that the annual celebration will continue to be "the signature program of the academy. I was at Copper Canyon when NPM started. I was wildly enthusiastic about it then, and I remain so." (See "The Business of Verse Moves On," p. 40.)

As always, the academy will serve as a clearinghouse for the poetry-related events. This year, the academy will focus its celebrations on the 100th anniversary of the birth of Langston Hughes. The academy has a Hughes exhibit on its Web site ( and will partner with the Langston Hughes National Poetry Project of the University of Kansas, the National Council of Teachers of English and PEN American Center to sponsor a number of Hughes events, such as Langston Hughes Poetry Day on April 2 and a tribute to Hughes April 30 at Town Hall in New York City.

Beginning April 3, the academy is sponsoring a reading series at its SoHo offices, in conjunction with Harcourt, FSG, HarperCollins, Knopf, Houghton Mifflin, Northwestern University Press and Ladan Reserve Press.

Other New York City events include the annual Poetry Showcase at Poets House, opening April 6, featuring readings, panels and a display of every poetry title published in the previous year; a celebration of African-American poetry sponsored by Cave Canem, to be held at the New School April 8; and the fourth annual Young People's Poetry Week (April 15 21; see "Children's Poetry in Bloom, p. 43).

For more information about National Poetry Month events nationwide, visit or call (212) 274-0343.