poem in your pocket day
Poem in Your Pocket Day 2019 is on April 18 and is part of National Poetry Month. On this day, select a poem, carry it with you, and share it with others at schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, street corners, and on social media using the hashtag #pocketpoem.
Poem in Your Pocket Day was initiated in April 2002 by the Office of the Mayor in New York City, in partnership with the city's Departments of Cultural Affairs and Education. In 2008, the Academy of American Poets took the initiative to all fifty United States, encouraging individuals around the country to participate. In 2016, the League of Canadian Poets extended Poem in Your Pocket Day to Canada.
Each year on national Poem in Your Pocket Day, the town of Charlottesville, Virginia, unites in a day-long celebration of poetry. The project is spearheaded by Jefferson-Madison Regional Library, whose staff recruit members of the community—students, senior citizens, local business owners, neighbors, and friends—to distribute poem scrolls throughout Charlottesville. Over 7,000 scrolls are distributed to a local hospital, a children's museum, libraries, senior centers, nursing homes, and numerous small businesses in the downtown area. They also put together a street team that hands out poems along the Charlottesville pedestrian mall.
According to library branch manager Wendy Saz, "The very best part of the project is seeing the way people immediately respond to poetry. People call the library to say how much their poem meant to them, personally. Some folks come back for additional scrolls to give to friends and family members. People stop to recite favorite poems, from memory, to street team members. Last year, when the day was over, we were happily surprised when one street team member commented that he hadn't seen a single poem on the ground or in a trash bin! People were tucking them in purses and pockets, to keep and to reread."
Poetry is best when shared, and Poem in Your Pocket Day is the perfect time to surprise someone with the gift of poetry.
How did you celebrate? Let us know!
It's easy to carry a poem, share a poem, or start your own Poem in Your Pocket Day event. Here are some ideas of how you might get involved:
- Start a "poems for pockets" giveaway in your school or workplace
- Urge local businesses to offer discounts for those carrying poems
- Post pocket-sized verses in public places
- Memorize a poem
- Start a street team to pass out poems in your community
- Distribute bookmarks with your favorite lines of poetry
- Add a poem to your email footer
- Post lines from your favorite poem on your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, or Pinterest
- Send a poem to a friend