The Virginia G. Piper
Center for Creative Writing

Home / Content / National Black Poetry Day | Black Poetry 365
National Black Poetry Day

National Black Poetry Day | Black Poetry 365

Meet Your Literary Community Exhibitor 2019

About National Black Poetry Day | Black Poetry 365

National Black Poetry Day is Oct. 17, an unofficial holiday to celebrate Black wordsmiths, the importance of Black heritage and literacy along with the contributions made by Black poets and writers. It is in honor of Jupiter Hammon, considered the first published Black poet in the United States, born Oct. 17, 1711, in Long Island, NY.

The day was first proposed by public library director Stanley A. Ransom in 1970 (in New York) and in 1985 with a bill introduced to recognize the day as a state holiday (in Oregon). In 2019, an official site (blackpoetryday.org) spearheaded in Arizona has been established to highlight activities and events honoring the day, and to encourage national participation.

The official celebration in Arizona is Oct. 17, at Tempe Center for the Arts.