Poem in Your Pocket Day


Poem in Your Pocket Day – falling always sometime in National Poetry Month – is an international movement that encourages folks to center poetry within their daily interactions. On PIYP Day, select a poem, carry it with you, and share it with others at schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, coffee shops, street corners, and on social media using the hashtag #PocketPoem.

This annual initiative is organized by the Academy of American Poets, celebrated with a free downloadable PDF booklet containing contemporary American and – since the League joined forces in 2016 – Canadian poetry to share. Click here for 2019’s booklet.

Poem in Your Pocket Day will take place in April 2021

Ways to Celebrate

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

Choose your pocket poem – or poems – from the League’s 2020 Poem in Your Pocket Day Booklet! In it, you’ll find the 15 poems by Canadian authors selected for this year’s celebration plus information on how to celebrate PIYP Day, 10 ways support your favourite poets, and more!

The official 2020 Poem in Your Pocket Day poems are…

Swimming In Church Lake by John Wall Barger

Cosmic Egg Hypothesis by Laura Cok

Le Mot Juste by M.E. Csamer

Christmas Work Detail, Samos by Steven Heighton

Why Scrabble by Louisa Howerow

Letters Home by Kevin Irie

Believe… by Penn Kemp

Concealing by Shannon Kernaghan

Missed Call by Annick MacAskill

The Last Time I Saw You by Carol L. MacKay

Lovers by Diana Manole

making milk by Christine McNair

Crepuscule by Colin Morton

Georgian Bay Meditation by Nan Williamson

The Moon Over Istanbul by Bänoo Zan


Carry a Poet in Your Pocket!

Celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day by carrying one (or all!) of these Canadian poetry heavyweights with you! Each in their own way, these poets have contributed to the establishment, development, growth, and continued richness of Canadian poetry — in Canada and abroad.

Dig through the archives! We feature new Canadian poets in each annual booklet, put together in partnership with Academy of American Poets so there’s lots to look back on. View, share, or copy and paste any Poem in Your Pocket selections!

PIYP Day 2019 / 2018 / 2017 / 2016

For your French pocket poem needs, check out the 2018 booklet created by La poésie partout for La Journée du poème à porter.