Americans Carry Poems for Pockets for National Poetry Month

March 12, 2008—On April 17, Americans will mark the first national Poem In Your Pocket Day by carrying poems and sharing them with co-workers, family, friends, and even strangers. Celebrating the power of the poem to both transport a reader and be transported by one, the day will include events at bookstores, libraries, schools, parks, and workplaces throughout the country. Communities are invited to participate in Poem In Your Pocket Day (celebrated in New York City for the last six years) by giving away poems for pockets and hosting creative events to be featured by the Academy of American Poets on throughout the spring. In Your Pocket
The Academy of American Poets has announced this week the launch of the first mobile poetry site available, bringing a poetry archive of more than 2,500 poems (as well as poet biographies and essays) into the palm of your hand. Formatted for effortless access on most mobile devices, poems can be browsed by occasion, theme, author, title, or form, and searched easily by keyword. Read a poem anytime, anywhere—verse is now at your fingertips. 

Free National Poetry Month Poster
Designed by SpotCo, a New York City agency responsible for the lion’s share of poster designs for Broadway’s most popular shows including RENT and Chicago, the 2008 National Poetry Month poster features red letters set in flight to spell "National Poetry Month." The image is anchored by a pair of cupped hands. Beside the hands are lines by Vermont poet Jay Wright:

I carried my life, like a stone,
in a ragged pocket, but I
had a true weaving song, a sly
way with rhythm, a healing tone.
The poster is downloadable via the link below. It will also be mailed for free while supplies last to teachers and librarians by online request.

Life Lines
This year, the Academy of American Poets has asked readers to share the lines of poetry that are the most vital to them—their Life Lines. These Life Lines will be featured during National Poetry Month 2008 and will automatically be entered to win a limited-edition piece of jewelry by San Francisco designer Jeanine Payer. Payer specializes in hand-engraving lines of poetry on earrings, necklaces, and other items. The winner will have their Life Line hand-engraved on a commemorative piece. 

Poetry &amp The Creative Mind
The Academy will host its sixth annual star-studded benefit, Poetry &amp The Creative Mind, on Tuesday, April 1, at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center. This year, the Academy presents Meryl Streep, Liz Smith, Dianne Reeves, John Guare, Jonathan Demme, Philippe de Montebello, Katie Couric, Graydon Carter, Robert Caro and Candace Bushnell. Tickets ($40-$75) are available by calling (212) 721-6500 or visiting

New Spring Poetry Titles
The first place to look for new books of poetry, the Academy’s Spring Books List features over 150 titles. Highlights include Sea Change, Jorie Graham; That Little Something, Charles Simic; Eternal Enemies, Adam Zagajewski; What Love Comes To, new and selected poems by Ruth Stone; new books from Meena Alexander, Cole Swensen, Dean Young, Marie Howe, Caroline Knox, Richard Kenney, Karen Volkman, and more. 

About National Poetry Month
Inaugurated by the Academy in April 1996, 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.

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;, 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; and our annual series of poetry readings and special events. The Academy also awards prizes to accomplished poets at all stages of their careers. For more information, visit