April on the Midcoast never guarantees a storybook spring, but there is a literary flowering, thanks to National Poetry Month. The area’s two poet laureates and some libraries have filled the calendar with special events, providing plenty to celebrate — whatever the thermometers say.

Poetry Month Rockland started things off April 1 with a Fireside Reading. Each Wednesday through the end of the month, there will be a crackling fire, light refreshments and poetry in the main-floor Reading Room of Rockland Public Library, 80 Union St. Next up are students from the city’s Oceanside High School, reading their own works and others' April 8 at 3 p.m.

Poets Corner takes its place

On Thursday, April 2, members of Rockport Public Library’s twice-monthly Poets Corner writing group will read from their new chapbook, which is on sale to benefit the library. Most represented in the chapbook — George Chappell, Jim Ostheimer, Jon Potter, Bill Eberle, Trina French, Eileen Hugo and Paul McFarland — will be on hand for the 4 p.m. reading at the library, 1 Limerock St. Another chapbook reading is planned for Thursday, April 30.

In between, the group and library will host a series of readings by Maine poets. On Wednesday, April 8, at 7 p.m., Rockland Poet Laureate Carol Bachofner will talk about prose poetry and read from “Sentenced to Poetry, prose poems and more," a manuscript in progress. Aroostook County-raised Stephanie Marshall is next, reading from her work Thursday, April 9, at 4 p.m.

Thursday, April 16, Jessica Eaton and Jessica Loudermilk of the Togus Writers, a weekly workshop led by Chappell at the VA hospital outside Augusta, will read their award-winning work at 4 p.m. And Thursday, April 23, Waldo County educator Carolyn Locke will read from her work and talk about her Japanese sojourn following in the steps of haiku master Matsuo Basho.

April = poetry + jazz

In the city of Belfast, Poetry Month is really October, when the annual Belfast Poetry Festival takes place. But three-months-in Belfast Poet Laureate Toussaint St. Negritude has put several things on the calendar for National Poetry Month, taking into consideration that April also is Jazz Appreciation Month. That’s a good fit for St. Negritude, a jazz performer who often pairs his poetry with performing on the bass clarinet.

Jazz Appreciation Month is a designation of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. In honor of both JAM and National Poetry Month, St. Negritude — who took his last name from a surrealist poetry movement — will host Our Tones Supreme, an evening of live poetry and jazz, Friday, April 3, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the second-floor Gammans Room of Belfast Free Library, 106 High St.

“I’m really looking forward to it, celebrating both poetry and jazz. One of the things I’ve come to appreciate about Belfast is its arts collaborations,” he said.

That tradition will be well expressed during the Friday evening event. Former Belfast Poet Laureate Jacob Fricke will present poetry in concert with frequent musical cohort, jazz and ambient keyboardist and composer Tom Luther. St. Negritude will perform as both musician and poet — he has just released “Upheave,” a new book of poems — as well as doing a duet with frequent poetry slam winner and Michigan native Joshua Kauppila, his partner and artistic collaborator. Also in the lineup are The Acetones, a “portrait band” featuring Ethan Andrews, Al Crichton and Willy Crichton. The portraits they create are sonic, improvised around a volunteer from the audience.

A special guest on the musical side will be vocalist Judi Erickson, who will be performing Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit” and “Lush Life” by Billy Strayhorn, JAM’s poster musician in this, his centenary year. Strayhorn’s nephew lives in St. Johnsbury, Vt., where St. Negritude lived before coming to Belfast.

“I’m so excited to hear her sing! I met her last fall, and she’s a wonderful person. She’s an old friend of Jacob Fricke and was a jazz singer in Montreal for four years,” St. Negritude said.

A few hours before the Our Tones Supreme concert, St. Negritude will debut the Pen Side Lecture Series with a talk titled "Free Radicals: The Creative Rights Movements of Poetry & Jazz" from 2 to 3 p.m. in the library’s third-floor Conference Room. The lecture takes up the second hour of his weekly The Poet Laureate Is In session, as he can be found in the Conference Room every Friday from 1 to 3 p.m. to meet, greet and talk about poetry.

“Part of my big plan [as poet laureate] is to spread poetry out in many ways, to break down barriers people may have who are intimidated by poetry,” he said.

The Pen Side Lecture Series is an attempt to offer something different from a poetry reading or a writing workshop. Both the lecture and concert are free, although donations will be welcomed for the 2015 Belfast Poetry Festival.

“It will be a way for people to learn something from poets," said St. Negritude of the lecture series. "I’m still putting it together, would love to do one as often as once a month. And I certainly don’t intend to do all of them by myself."

Another ongoing event St. Negritude has introduced this year is the Waldo Poetry Circle, which gathers poets from 7 to 8 p.m. on the second and fourth Fridays of each moth in the downtown office of Belfast Creative Coalition, 171 Main St., Room 6.

“It’s really wonderful, we have a whole new group coming to meetings there. I love that we support them and they support us,” he said of the BCC.

On Friday night, Our Tones Supreme will reflect both the national celebrations of poetry and jazz; and the collaborative nature of Belfast’s creatives.

“I’m just so thrilled, as a jazz player myself. I’ve been combining these for years, often as the lone act on the stage. I love that this is such a collaborative community,” he said.

Poetry Month Rockland

In the city to south, Rockland Poet Laureate Bachofner makes a habit of coming up with new ways to introduce poetry into daily life. The popular Poetry Boxes are out again, with free poems for people to take (or leave poems for others). Locations include City Hall, the Oceanside East high school library, Good Tern Co-op, Penobscot School, Camden National Bank, Key Bank, Rock City Café and Clan MacLaren.

New this year are a couple of found — or is it find? — poetry experiments: Shelved, which is tucking slips of poetry into grocery store food items; and the aptly named Rx for Poetry. Bachofner advises folks to look for re-purposed prescription bottles around town, filled with poems. The bottles with "State of Maine Song" and "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" will have an extra note to turn into the library for a treat, she said.

Like St. Negritude, Bachofner is keeping regular hours in this month, at Rockland Public Library Mondays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to share poems or to answer any poetry-related questions. She also invites one and all to a lively discussion on The Poetry of War, Peace and Protest Thursday, April 9, at 6 p.m. in the downstairs Friends Community Room; there will be a door prize given.

On Saturday, April 18 — a date stuck in many a mind, thanks to a Maine poet — Cushing poet Ellen Goldsmith will lead a free, hands-on workshop titled "Finding Subject Matter: Cartoons as Catalysts for Poems" from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Friends Community Room (advance registration advised). And, as always, Poetry Month Rockland will conclude with A Swarm of Poets, featuring readings by the winners of this year’s Rockland Poetry Contest plus a dozen Maine poets. This year's Swarm also will serve as a launch party for the library's resident High Tide Poets group's new chapbook. The buzz begins at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 30, down in the library’s Friends Community Room.

There still are a few days to enter said contest, which is not restricted to city residents; the theme this year is In Air, On Land, At Sea. Deadline for submissions is April 7 for adults; and April 14 for children and teens — for contest details and guidelines, visit rocklandlibrary.org or stop by the library.

Although the libraries tend to dominate National Poetry Month events, there are observances outside the stacks, as well. At the Good Tern, the annual “Poetry & Art” mail art exhibition will fill the café’s walls.

‘Poetry Rocks’ the record collection

While Camden Public Library devotes its April to the area’s maritime history each year, the town’s unofficial poet-in-residence will release an album on the local Mishara Music label. One-time rock guitarist Dave Morrison has been combining his performance-oriented poetry with an electric ax soundtrack of late, and his album "Poetry Rocks" is set for an April 14 release. Those who cannot wait can hear a track on the latest free Mishara Music Sampler, downloadable on Amazon.comA few days earlier — Saturday, April 11 — Morrison will read from his latest book of poems, “Shake Hands With Your Heart,” at 1 p.m. at Camden’s Owl & Turtle Book Shop.