Gearing Up for the Sealey Challenge

“The Sealey Challenge, at heart,
is a big, raucous, joyful celebration of poetry.”

—Laura Sackton, Book Riot, 10 new-to-me poets I discovered thanks to the sealey challenge

Every year, hundreds of folks gather the 31 books they plan to read for the annual Sealey Challenge.


31 books in 31 days—that was the intention poet Nicole Sealey set when the challenge began 8 years ago. “I realized that I hadn’t been reading as much as I would’ve liked,” Sealey said in a conversation with Literary Hub. “On a whim, I put out a call across social media asking folks to join me in reading a chap or book of poems per day for the month of August.”

Cut to eight years later, and you’ll see thousands have joined the call—and look forward to an August of reading poetry every year! Just search for the hashtag #SealeyChallenge and you’ll see thousands of posts from the global community—stacks of books, lines from poems, “shelfies,” recommendations, and words of appreciation and encouragement.

We warmly invite you to join us this summer, and especially encourage you to engage with diverse voices during this month-long celebration!

Learn more about the Sealey Challenge at

Whether you’ve been a life-long poetry reader or haven’t read a poem since highschool, this challenge reminds us why poetry is so special and essentially human. Lucille Clifton sums it up beautifully: “Poetry began when somebody walked off of a savanna or out of a cave and looked up at the sky with wonder and said, 'ahhh.' That was the first poem."


How can you get involved?

Everyone is welcome to participate—and there's no official sign-up! You can follow us on Instagram, Twitter (X), or Facebook for tips, community resources, and lots of encouragement. Use the hashtage #SealeyChallenge to stay in touch!

Need a list of recommendations? We got you covered — click here for the Sealey Challenge (suggested) reading list.

What if I can't read 31 books of poetry in 31 days? That's okay! All time spent with poetry is worthwhile. The point is to create a bigger space for reading poetry, and perfection is overrated!