Academy Gives Away 1,200 Free Books in Bryant Park
Posted onApr 22 2005
New York--April 22, 2005--The Academy of American Poets distributed 1,200 free poetry books in Bryant Park yesterday afternoon. The book give-away was a celebration of the third annual Poem In Your Pocket Day, when New Yorkers were encouraged to carry a poem in their pockets throughout the day to share with friends, family, and colleagues.
"It was a beautiful day in New York, and a beautiful day for poetry," said Charles Flowers, Associate Director of the Academy, who was on hand to help distribute books. "People were wide-eyed at the prospect of free poetry. They simply couldn't believe we were offering these wonderful books—James Merrill, Wislawa Szymborska, Octavio Paz, C.K. Williams—all for free. Hundreds of people came through the tent: teachers and their students, office workers on lunch break, tourists from Europe and Asia."
In addition to free books, the Academy distributed free National Poetry Month posters, as April also marks the 10th annual National Poetry Month, the Academy's signature program. Flowers noted, "We had a microphone available for people to share the poems they were carrying their pockets, and a few even sat down at the tables and wrote a new poem on the spot."
Poem In Your Pocket Day is a project of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in conjunction with the Mayor's Office and the Department of Education. The Bryant Park Reading Room is a project of the Bryant Park Restoration Project.
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.