“Is that a poem in your pocket?” she asked.

April 13, 2011

Not only is April National Poetry Month, but April 14th is National Poem in Your Pocket Day.

Poem in Your Pocket Day logo, 2011

National Poem in Your Pocket Day 2011 - click for details

The idea is simple: select a poem you love during National Poetry Month then carry it with you to share with co-workers, family, and friends.

Poems from pockets will be unfolded throughout the day with events in parks, libraries, schools, workplaces, and bookstores. Create your own Poem In Your Pocket Day event using ideas below or let us know how your plans, projects, and suggestions for Poem In Your Pocket Day by emailing npm@poets.org.

Put Poems In Pockets

In this age of mechanical and digital reproduction, it’s easy to carry a poem, share a poem, or start your own PIYP day event. Here are some ideas of how you might get involved:

  • Start a “poems for pockets” give-a-way in your school or workplace
  • Urge local businesses to offer discounts for those carrying poems
  • Post pocket-sized verses in public places
  • Handwrite some lines on the back of your business cards
  • Start a street team to pass out poems in your community
  • Distribute bookmarks with your favorite immortal lines
  • Add a poem to your email footer
  • Post a poem on your blog or social networking page
  • Project a poem on a wall, inside or out
  • Text a poem to friends

Help us expand the list: send your ideas to npm@poets.org.

Poem In Your Pocket History

Poem In Your Pocket Day has been celebrated each April in New York City since 2004. Each year, city parks, bookstores, workplaces, and other venues burst with open readings of poems from pockets. Even the Mayor gets in on the festivities, reading a poem on the radio. For more information on New York City’s celebration, visit nyc.gov/poem.

Highlights from past Poem In Your Pocket Day events.

Poems have been stowed in pockets in a variety of ways, from the commonplace books of the Renaissance to the pocket-sized publications for Army soldiers in World War II. Have a story about the marriage of the poem and the pocket? Send them to npm@poets.org.

I just stumbled into National Poetry Month and National Poem in Your Pocket Day a few years ago, gearing up to use The Ride of Paul Revere on the anniversary of his famous ride.  How are you using poetry in your job?


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