The American Poetry & Literacy ProjectThe APL Projectís main mission is to distribute poetry books in public places. For National Poetry Month 2003, the APL Project will be working with the Academy of American Poets to give away free copies of a new anthology titled ACROSS STATE LINES: AMERICAíS 50 STATES AS REPRESENTED IN POETRY.Since it was created in 1993, the American Poetry & Literacy Project has distributed more than 1,000,000 free, brand new poetry books in schools, hotels, subway and train stations, hospitals, jury waiting rooms, supermarkets, truck stops, day-care centers, airports, zoos, and other public venues nationwide. The purpose of these giveaways is to put poetry directly into the hands of people from all walks of life in hopes that they will read, enjoy, and share these free books.
April is National Poetry Month
Focus on "Poetry in your Community"Inaugurated by the Academy in April 1996, National Poetry Month (NPM) brings together publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools, and poets around the country to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture. Thousands of businesses and non-profit organizations participate through readings, festivals, book displays, workshops, and other events.
This year, NPM will focus on "poetry in your community," and on April 1, the Academy unveiled a National Poetry Map of America, with state-by-state listings of poets, presses, and programs. Listings include:
* Poems, poets, and poet laureates from each state;
* Poetry journals & publishers;
* Poetry organizations and reading series;
* Bookstores with strong poetry sections;
* Festivals, conferences & writing programs, and much more.
"The National Poetry Map is a grand new project that the Academy hopes will grow and grow," observes Executive Director Tree Swenson. "The map will celebrate the thriving poetry communities in every state in the country, and we're counting on people in those communities to help build this part of our website. It is breathtaking to discover how many resources exist. The map should be a handy tool to help people find good poetry in their own back yard."
To launch National Poetry Month 2003, The Academy of American Poets hosted Poetry & the Creative Mind, an evening celebrating the role of poetry in American culture at The Juilliard Theater in New York City.
Some of America's leading artists, scholars, and public figures read from the work of some of America's best-loved poets. Featured readers included Laurie Anderson, Antonio Damasio, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Kitty Carlisle Hart, Caroline Kennedy, Frank McCourt, Mark Morris, Jessye Norman, George Plimpton, Natalie Portman, Zadie Smith, Meryl Streep, and William Styron.
Thousands of bookstores, libraries, schools, and cultural institutions participate each year in National Poetry Month, through readings festivals, book displays, workshops, and other activities. The Academy actively works to catalyze these many activities. And by serving as a central clearing house for the publicity of these activities, and of the occasion itself, the Academy attempts to build a unified confederacy of many disparate and otherwise unconnected organizations-to make them parts of a whole.