March 17—To celebrate National Poetry Month, the Academy of American Poets is encouraging people everywhere to carry a poem in their pocket on April 30, and to share the poems in their workplaces, schools, libraries, community centers, and public spaces. Volunteer street teams will help spread the power of poetry by passing out poems by hand, circulating verses via handheld devices, and organizing readings in their communities. Download and print poems, find events, or share ideas at www.poets.org/pocket.
Poem in Your Pocket Anthology Published
Abrams Image is publishing the first interactive poetry anthology, Poem in Your Pocket, in conjunction with the Academy of American Poets. The book features 200 tear-and-share pages of poetry, with verses from Shakespeare to Sexton. A portion of all sales will be donated to the Academy of American Poets, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Learn more about the Poem in Your Pocket anthology.
Free Verse: A Photo Competition
Inspired by the 2009 National Poetry Month poster design, the Academy invites people to capture ephemeral bits of verse on film. Write favorite lines on a sandy beach, assemble twigs on a hillside, or chalk the sidewalk. Take a photo before the lines disappear, then post the image to the Academy's Free Verse photo album on Facebook, the Free Verse group page on Flickr, or email entries to firstname.lastname@example.org before April 15. Entries will be eligible to win a commemorative piece of hand-engraved jewelry by Jeanine Payer and a copy of the new Poem in Your Pocket anthology, and will be featured on Poets.org. www.poets.org/freeverse
7th Annual Poetry & The Creative Mind
The Academy will host its 7th annual star-studded benefit, Poetry & The Creative Mind, on Wednesday, April 1, at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center. This year, special guests reading favorite poems include Joan Baez, Roy Blount, Jr., Mia Farrow, Jorie Graham, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Chip Kidd, Wynton Marsalis, Steve Reich, Zadie Smith, Mark Strand, and Harold Varmus. Tickets ($40–$75) are available by calling (212) 721-6500, or visiting lincolncenter.org. For more information, visit www.poets.org/gala.
New Spring Poetry Titles
The first place to look for new books of poetry, the Academy's Spring Books List features 130 recently published titles from independent and commercial presses. Highlights include Sonata Mulattica, Rita Dove; The Dance Most of All, Jack Gilbert; Poems from the Women's Movement, edited by Honor Moore; new translations of Baudelaire by Keith Waldrop; new Cavafy translations by Daniel Mendelsohn; Essential Pleasures: An Anthology of Poems to Read Aloud, edited by Robert Pinsky; new and selected poems by Frederick Seidel; new books by Sherman Alexie, Jim Harrison, Ann Lauterbach, J. D. McClatchy, Alicia Suskin Ostriker, D. A. Powell, Jean Valentine, and others. www.poets.org/npmbooks
About National Poetry Month
National Poetry Month was established by the Academy of American Poets in 1996 and is now the largest literary celebration in the world. National Poetry Month brings together schools, libraries, publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, and poets to highlight poetry and its vital role in American culture. National Poetry Month is made possible, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. To learn more about National Poetry Month programs, please visit www.poets.org/npm.
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.