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.

Poem in Your Pocket Day 2022 will take place in April. 

The LCP Poem in Your Pocket Day Contest is now open!

Deadline to enter is December 15, 2021

Submissions are OPEN for the Poem in Your Pocket Day Contest by the League of Canadian Poets. Win $300 and have your poem included in the 2022 Poem in Your Pocket Day Postcards and Booklet!

Submission guidelines:

  • Send one poem for consideration with no identifying information (submissions will be judged blind), using the form below.
  • Poems must be under 40 lines long, and appropriate for readers of all ages
  • Poems can be previously published
  • Contest is open to poets residing in Canada.
  • League members are invited to submit to this contest free of charge. There is a $10 entry fee for non-members.
  • LCP Members: Submit your poem via this form: LCP Member Poem In Your Pocket Submissions
  • Non-members: Submit your poem and entry fee via this form: Non-member Poem in Your Pocket Submissions

There will be 10 selections made from contest submissions for the Poem In Your Pocket Postcards and Booklet. Selected poets will receive $300, the full Poem Postcard Pack, and will be invited to provide an audio recording of their selected poem.

We can’t wait to stuff our pockets with your poetry!


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 favourite lines of poetry
  • Post lines from your favourite poem on your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Tumblr
  • Send a poem to a friend
  • Share your favourite poem on social media and use #PoemInYourPocket or #PocketPoem
  • Write your favourite poem on a sticky note to put on your fridge or cubicle at work. Or, if you’re working from home, add a poem to your email footer for the day.
  • Make your pocket poem the background on your phone or share it in a group message with others who may also want to participate.
  • Create a video of your favourite spoken-word piece or have a virtual poetry night where everyone shares their favourite poems aloud.
  • Plan a poetry exchange with your household, or virtually with a group of friends. For an in-person exchange, everyone writes their favourite poem on a piece of paper and puts it into a bucket. The poems are shuffled, and you draw a poem at random and real aloud.
  • Embrace the artist within. Type up your favourite poem using a typewriter or typewriter app. You can make calligraphy or word art that showcases your chosen poem to share with a friend or family member. If you’d like your pocket poem to be a more permanent display, you can even decide to turn it into wall art! Create your word art on canvas or find a fun picture frame and hang up your poem for everyone to see. Consider making this an annual tradition with friends. You can create a new piece of wall art every year for your pocket poems.

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 2021 / 2020 / 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.