April 14, 2008

National Poetry Month: A Poem in Your Pocket Day

National Poetry Month was established by the Academy of American Poets as a month-long, national celebration of poetry. The concept was to increase the attention paid-by individuals and the media—to the art of poetry, to living poets, to our poetic heritage, and to poetry books and magazines.

National Poetry Month has grown over the years into the largest literary celebration in the world.

The site has at least 30 ways to celebrate the month. Though there are many ways to hear poems -attend a poetry reading or open mic, memorization, recitation - perhaps, it has been a while since you participated.

By attending a poetry reading, you have the opportunity to process the poem aurally rather than visually. Hearing a poem read aloud reveals its rhythmic, melodic, and alliterative qualities, which can help you discover whether or not poetry is, ultimately, the music of language. As you reacquaint yourself with the emotions kindled by being read to by a parent, teacher, or lover, you may even discover for yourself the relationship between poetry and song.

One way to celebrate that's new to all of us is the first Poem in Your Pocket Day.

A simple idea: select a poem you love during National Poetry Month then carry it with you to share with co-workers, family, and friends on April 17.

Poems from pockets will be unfolded throughout the day with events in parks, libraries, schools, workplaces, and bookstores. If you create your own Poem In Your Pocket Day event (I would hope some teachers would pick up on this), you should email the Academy of American Poets folks at npm@poets.org.


Anonymous said...

Interestingly, Poem In Your Pocket Day has been celebrated in New York City since 2002.

City parks, bookstores, workplaces, and other venues have open readings of poems from pockets.

see nyc.gov/poem

Poets Online said...

You're correct. I guess it's not new to all of us - though this is the first year that it's a national event.