New York, January 26—The Academy of American Poets has revealed the National Poetry Month poster for 2010, a result of pro bono design-work by award-winning illustrator and graphic designer Marian Bantjes, who recently designed and illustrated seasonal campaigns for Saks Fifth Avenue.
Bantjes’s fierce precision and intricate design-work is visible in the 2010 poster, which features kaleidoscopic figures turning beneath a star-filled sky—a scene inspired by the poetry of Wallace Stevens. Lines from his poem, "Final Soliloquy of the Interior Paramour," curve across the poster: We make a dwelling in the evening air, / In which being there together is enough." Geometric forms and delicate swirls convey movement and momentum within the design, and the fractal-filled gyres seem to signal the convergence of imagination and experience—the gathering eye of the mind—a central theme in Stevens's poetry.
Download a full view of the poster at Poets.org.
Bantjes explained her decision to donate her time and talent to the poster design project:
I do sometimes find myself thinking that I am spending "too much time" on a project, but ultimately I have to say "who is it for, what does it say, and what does it do?" And in this case: a project which is printed in a quantity of 200,000 and distributed throughout schools and organizations to promote poetry to children and the populace in general, well that is a project worthy of my time. Far more worthy, in fact, than most other things I can think of.
Bantjes was approached by the Academy to design the poster after her other projects—including designs and illustrations for The New York Times, The Guardian, and book cover designs for numerous publishers—were brought to the attention of Academy director Tree Swenson by esteemed designer
Each year, the Academy of America Poets, a nonprofit organization, asks a renowned designer to donate his or her design services to the poster project to help kick-off National Poetry Month, which is celebrated throughout April. National Poetry Month was established by the Academy in 1996 to build a love of poetry throughout the United States. The 200,000 posters will be distributed, free of charge, to schools, libraries, independent bookstores, and individuals nationwide.
In recent years, the National Poetry Month poster has featured the work of renowned designers and illustrators, including Paul Sahre, SpotCo, Christoph Niemann, Chip Kidd, design collective Number Seventeen, and Milton Glaser, among others. The complete gallery of National Poetry Month posters can be viewed at www.poets.org/poster.
To request a free copy for your school, bookstore, library, or community center, visit www.poets.org/poster.
For more information about Marian Bantjes, visit www.bantjes.com.
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 over three generations, the Academy has connected millions of people to great poetry through programs such as National Poetry Month, the largest literary celebration in the world; Poets.org, the most popular site about poetry on the web, presenting a wealth of great poems, audio recordings, poet biographies, essays, and interactive discussions about poetry; the Poetry Audio Archive, capturing the voices of contemporary American poets for generations to come; American Poet, a biannual literary journal; an annually awarded set of seven major awards awarded annually to accomplished poets at all stages of their careers, as well as hundreds of student prizes at colleges nationwide; and an annual series of poetry readings and special events. For more information, visit www.poets.org.