April 21—Famous lines of poetry are appearing in the most unusual places as part of a new Free Verse Photo Project. The Academy of American Poets has invited people to send in photographs of bits of verse that they have presented in some ephemeral medium. Three photographic submissions have been selected to showcase the new project: an excerpt of verse by T. S. Eliot is drawn in sugar spilled across a table; famous lines by William Carlos Williams are etched in mud covering a wheelbarrow; and Edna St. Vincent Millay's words are stamped on a smattering of magnolia leaves.
To date, the project has received over 700 submissions from around the world, from Ireland to China, and as submissions continue to pour in, the Academy of American Poets is announcing a new and ongoing showcase of photos on the Academy's website, Poets.org.
For the Free Verse Project—which was inspired by the 2009 National Poetry Month poster design by Paul Sahre—people have recast favorite lines of poetry from well-known poets in an impermanent medium (examples include writing in sand or snow, assembling twigs on a hillside, or chalking the sidewalk), and photographed the lines before they disappeared. New submissions may be uploaded to the Academy of American Poets' Free Verse group page on Flickr, or emailed to the Facebook page of the Academy of American Poets.
In addition to being featured on the Academy's website, the three recent winners will also receive a piece of jewelry by San Francisco-based designer Jeanine Payer hand-engraved with lines of Rainer Maria Rilke's poetry, as well as a copy of the recently published Poem in Your Pocket anthology from Abrams Image.
About the Academy of American Poets
The Academy of American Poets is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1934 to foster appreciation for contemporary poetry and to support American poets at all stages of their careers. For more information, visit www.poets.org.