Some people read poetry all year round, but others pay more attention in the spring. Since 1996, April has been set aside as poetry month -- and it's hard not to pay attention, with so many events all over the Twin Cities.
Irish poet Gerard Smyth, recipient of this year's O'Shaughnessy Poetry Award from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, will deliver a reading at 7:30 p.m. April 20 at the O'Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium on the university's campus. Smyth is both poet and journalist -- he's managing editor and former poetry critic of the Irish Times in Dublin. He'll be in conversation with St. Paul poet Patricia Kirkpatrick at 7 p.m. April 16 at the Hamline-Midway Branch Library, 1558 W. Minnehaha Av., St. Paul.
(Kirkpatrick, meanwhile, has three poems in this month's issue of Poetry Magazine. She is the author of "Century's Road," published by Duluth's Holy Cow! Press.)
And across the river in Minneapolis you can hear poet D.A. Powell read at 7 p.m. on April 18 at the Loft, when he launches his new collection, "Useless Landscape: A Guide for Boys," published by Graywolf Press. Powell won the notable Kingsley Tufts award a few years back for "Chronic," also published by Graywolf.
• The author isn't local, but the subject matter is: "Sioux War Dispatches: Reports From the Field, 1876-1877," compiled by Marc H. Abrams, will be published in May by Westholme Publishing. It is composed of newspaper accounts from battles all across the Upper Midwest.
• The Minneapolis Central Library's summer season of Talk of the Stacks has been announced. Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Richard Ford will read from "Canada," his new novel, at 7 p.m. May 29. Photographer Michael Childers will discuss his exhibit "Author, Author" at 7 p.m. June 26. (The exhibit will be displayed at the library through Aug. 18.) And Esmeralda Santiago will read from her novel "Conquistadora" at 7 p.m. July 12. All programs are free and held at the Minneapolis Central Library on Nicollet Mall.
• "Rhubarb Renaissance," a cookbook by Star Tribune writer Kim Ode, has been published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press. Ode will be at the Merriam Park Library at 7 p.m. Wednesday; at the Mill City Museum Baking Lab at 1 and 2:30 p.m. April 28, and at the Mill City Farmers Market at 8 a.m. on May 12.
• "The Fairy Ring, or Elsie and Frances Fool the World," by Mary Losure, has been published by Candlewick Press. Losure, who lives in St. Paul, will read at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Red Balloon, and at 7 p.m. April 17 at Common Good Books.