Poem in Your Pocket Day is an annual initiative organized by the Academy of American Poets to celebrate National Poetry Month. The League is very excited to be have joined this initiative for the first time in 2016, adding some of our favourite Canadian poems and poets to the mix! Poem in Your Pocket Day 2016 was held on April 21.
As a special collaboration for National Poetry Month in April, the leading membership-based poetry organizations that sponsor the month in Canada and the United States—the League of Canadian Poets and the Academy of American Poets—have created a guide for families, schools, and businesses to inspire and assist with local Poem in Your Pocket Day celebrations. The guide features poems by contemporary Canadian and U.S. poets.
In 2002, as part of New York City’s National Poetry Month celebration, the Office of the Mayor, in partnership with the New York City Departments of Cultural Affairs and Education, initiated Poem in Your Pocket Day, a time for New York City residents to select a poem, carry it with them, and share it with others throughout the day.
In 2008, the Academy of American Poets took the initiative national, encouraging individuals around the country to join in and channel their inner bard. Each year on Poem in Your Pocket Day, schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, and other venues ring loud with open readings of poems from pockets.
From the Academy of American Poets website
Ways to participate in Poem in Your Pocket Day
It’s easy to carry a poem, share a poem, or start your own Poem in Your Pocket Day event. Visit the Academy’s website for a full history of the program and other materials. Here are some ideas of how you might get involved:
- Start a “poems for pockets” giveaway in your school or workplace
- Urge local businesses to offer discounts for those carrying poems
- Post pocket-sized verses in public places
- Memorize a poem
- Start a street team to pass out poems in your community
- Distribute bookmarks with your favorite lines of poetry
- Add a poem to your email footer
- Post lines from your favorite poem on your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Tumblr
- Send a poem to a friend
Canadian poets you can find in the 2016 Poem in your Pocket Day PDF (click to download)
- George Elliot Clarke
- Lorna Crozier
- Kayla Czaga
- Marilyn Dumont
- Sue Goyette
- Sheniz Janmohamed
- M. Travis Lane
- Alice Major
- Bruce Meyer
- George Murray
- Antony di Nardo
- Armand Garnet Ruffo
- Renee Sarojini Saklikar
- Zainab Syed
- Daniel Scott Tysdal