In preparation for National Poetry Month in April, Salina Public Library’s Community Learning and Skills Sharing (CLASS) program is offering four poetry writing classes. They will be held the first four Tuesdays in March at 6:30 p.m. in the library’s Prescott Room.

Local poets John P. Waterman, aka John E. Epic, and Emery Diercks will cover a different genre each week. During the first half of class, students will view poetry performance videos, read poems in the genre together then break down the mechanics of each style through the work of poets such as Edgar Allen Poe, Maya Angelou, Allen Ginsberg and Asia Greene. The second half of each class will be spent writing poems in the session’s style. Narrative poetry will be covered on March 3, autobiographical on March 10, prose and socially conscious poetry on March 17, and spoken word and slam on March 24.

Diercks is a Spoken Word poet that speaks up for the disadvantaged, relays her experience of being a mother, and tells truths that open ears. Epic is an existentialist at heart and the author of the novel “Ill Digestions,” picture-book “Such a Little Apple” and numerous poetry books. He is currently part of the connected poet highway that stretches from Buffalo, N.Y., to Kansas City, across the Heartland following I-70 to Denver.

Registration in advance is required with the deadline for the first class on Feb. 29. Each meeting costs $10 or participants can register for all four for $35. Visit the McKenzie Center, 308 W. Elm, between 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday or go online to

The poetry classes are in advance of the 2020 Salina Poetry Series in April, sponsored by the library, Salina Arts & Humanities, SPARK Artist Resource Exchange and Friends of the Salina Public Library. To find out more about the series, visit