I am an artist and want to illustrate a poem and self publish it for my family. The poem was written in the early 1900's and is on LibraVox as a work in the public domain. Can I do this legally? I have no experience with writing prior to this so I am sadly ignorant and found all the different things I read confusing.
If the work is in public domain, you can do mostly anything with it - including creating derivative works, in particular illustrations.
If it was still copyrighted, you'd still probably be able to create illustrations but they wouldn't do much good as stand-alone, and bundling them with the original work would require license to use the original work for the compound product.