Academy of American Poets Announces Poetry by the Pocketful for National Poetry Month 2009Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets to highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets, National Poetry Month brings together publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools, and poets around the country to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture. Since 1996, thousands of businesses and non-profit organizations participate through readings, festivals, book displays, workshops, and other events designed to introduce more Americans to the pleasures of reading poetry.
To celebrate National Poetry Month this year, the Academy of American Poets has announced Poetry by the Pocketful, 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.
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.
Free National Poetry Month Poster
"Do I dare / Disturb the universe?" These handwritten lines from T. S. Eliot's poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" appear on a fogged window as the central image of the official 2009 National Poetry Month poster. Designed by renowned illustrator and graphic designer Paul Sahre, the poster intensifies Eliot's question by showing a delicate scene beyond the window—a spring day bleared with rain and color. The poster is available free of charge, while supplies last, to teachers and librarians by online request, and can be downloaded for personal use at www.poets.org/poster.
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 email@example.com 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. More details at www.poets.org/freeverse.
New Spring Poetry Titles
A good 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, by Rita Dove; The Dance Most of All, by 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.