30,000 Free Children's Books to Be Distributed in New York City, Seattle, Chicago, and Washington, DC

April 11, 2006 – This April, the Academy of American Poets will edit and distribute 30,000 copies of a poetry anthology for children—free of charge.

“For the tenth anniversary of National Poetry Month, we invite students to join us in celebrating poetry. We produced a free anthology of poems for young readers, which we hope will also raise curiosity among their parents,” states Tree Swenson, executive director of the Academy. “This April the Academy will give away 30,000 poetry anthologies at several locations around the country.”

National Poetry Month was established by the Academy in 1996 to increase awareness and appreciation of contemporary poetry.

How to Eat a Poem
The Academy of American Poets and the American Poetry & Literacy Project produced a special anthology of poems for children ages 10–14, How to Eat a Poem: A Smorgasbord of Tasty and Delicious Poems for Young Readers. With a foreword by U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser, the anthology includes 70 poems by well-known poets such as W.S. Merwin, Rita Dove, Billy Collins, Kenneth Koch, Marianne Moore, Langston Hughes, and Thom Gunn.

Giveaway Partners and Locations
By partnering with the New York City Board of Education, over 3,000 copies of How to Eat a Poem were distributed to every middle-school classroom and middle-school library in New York City. The Academy of American Poets has also partnered with America Scores (a non-profit organization that brings soccer and literacy to young people across the country) in order to put poems in the hands of children nationwide. Our other distribution partners include the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the largest public funder of arts and culture in the country, and the Bryant Park Restoration Corporation.

Following is a list of dates and cities for 2006 How to Eat a Poem giveaways. Media opportunities are available at each location:

New York City
Date: April 27, 2006
Location: Starbucks, 1656 Broadway (at 51 St. and Broadway)
(open to America Scores students only)
Contact: Douglas Korb, Academy of American Poets (212) 274-0343 ext. 13 [email protected]

New York City
Date: April 28, 2006, 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Location: Bryant Park Reading Room, 42nd Street & Fifth Avenue (open to the public)
Contact: Douglas Korb, Academy of American Poets (212) 274-0343 ext. 13 [email protected]

Date: April 4, 2006
Location: Oscar Mayer School, 2250 North Clifton Avenue
(open to America Scores students only)
Contact: Molly Hellerman, Chicago Scores, (773) 522-5500
[email protected]

Date: TBD
Location: Seattle Scores, 427 NE 72 St.
(open to America Scores students only)
Contact: April Butcher, Seattle Scores, (206) 721-7822 [email protected]

Washington D.C.
Date: April 27, 2006, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Location: James Madison Building, Mumford Room, 101 Independence Ave. S.E. (open to the public)
Contact: Holly O’Donnell, D.C. Scores, (202) 393-6999 x307
[email protected]