Amanda Gorman’s Poetry Month book drive for National Poetry Month. | Arts and Culture Blog


There is a nationwide effort to get more poetry, diverse and anti-racism books into the hands of young people in the United States.

Downtown Book & Sound in Salinas — in partnership with the Monterey County Arts Council,, and We Need Diverse Books — is part of the effort. The bookstore is celebrating National Poetry Month (April) with a book drive with the goal of equipping every school library in Monterey County with a book by young black poet Amanda Gorman.

“Gorman recited his poem during the last presidential inauguration,” said Jacquie Atchison, executive director of the Monterey County Council on the Arts. “She reminded us all that poetry is cool. And with our new Monterey County Poet Laureate, Daniel Summerhill, we have the perfect opportunity to promote our cultural heritage through words.”

“We want even the youngest Monterey County resident to experience the power of poetry, the power of words,” wrote bookstore owner Trish Triumpho Sullivan. “Because poetry can create and encourage positive change. I’ve always said that poetry is spoken music, and equally powerful in bringing people of all cultures together, breaking down barriers and building relationships.

The bookstore will match books donated by the public with a copy of the rhyme book, Beans and Riceby local physician and author, Dr Joshua Deutsch (a book promoting a healthy lifestyle in poetic form for young children, illustrated by Vikas Upadhyay).

Will you join us?

As a regular reader of Monterey County Weekly and Monterey County NOW you may have realized that the business model of journalism has changed dramatically. In today’s media landscape, direct financial support from readers is the new normal as the world of advertising has changed.

Join us in helping reach our goal of 500 new insiders by March 31. Join over 2,500 of your neighbors and contribute the amount that works best for you today. Every little bit counts, and together we can make a positive impact in and for Monterey County.

Thank you in advance for your consideration and support.

Erik Cushman, editor


The goal is to bring 468 poetry books to the Arts Council – one each of Amanda Gorman’s three published poetry books, so that every school library in the county – all 156 of them – will have copies of her books at disposition of students. Anyone wishing to participate must follow this link to order the book (or books) they wish to donate. Orders will be shipped directly to the Canada Council for distribution directly to schools.

The Amanda Gorman Poetry of the Month book drive will continue through May 15.

Downtown Book & Sound will host a black poet and the County Poet Laureate, Daniel Summerhill, for a free live event in Downtown Salinas. Attendees will have the opportunity to speak with this local poet, author and CSUMB professor, as well as pick up signed copies of his book, Divine, Divine, Divine and I hope his new book, A mausoleum of flowers, too. Summerhill will recite some of his work; there will be live music and refreshments. The exact date has yet to be announced.

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