Poem in Your Pocket Day

Poem in Your Pocket Day is an international movement that encourages people to centre 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.

The 2023 Poem in Your Pocket Day Postcard collection is here!

This year’s Poem In Your Pocket Collection features poetry by: George Amabile, Manahil Bandukwala, Rae Crossman, Jannie Edwards, Y S Lee, Kyo Lee, D.A. Lockhart, Briana Lu, Anthony Purdy, Sneha Madhavan-Reese, Richard-Yves Sitoski, Michael V. Smith, Eleonore Schönmaier and Pujita Verma.

Read their poems below and share with others.

These poems are also available as audio recordings, in plain text and a printable booklet. To print and share from your home, check out the 2023 Poem In Your Pocket Day Booklet from LCP. 



Read the 2023 Poem In Your Pocket poems in plain text.

Poem in Your Pocket Day – falling always sometime in National Poetry Month – is an international movement that encourages people to centre 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.

Check out the Academy’s 2023 Poem In Your Pocket Booklet

For your French pocket poem needs, check out La poésie partout for La Journée du poème à porter.

Poem in Your Pocket Day 2023 is Thursday, April 27. 

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.

About – 2023 Poem In Your Pocket Poets

George Amabile has published twelve books and has had work in over a hundred national and international venues, including The New Yorker, Poetry (Chicago), American Poetry Review, Botteghe Oscure, The Globe and Mail, The Penguin Book of Canadian Verse, Saturday Night,, Poetry Australia, Sur (Buenos Aires), Poetry Canada Review, and Canadian Literature. His most recent publications are a long poem, Dancing, with Mirrors (Porcupine’s Quill, 2011), Small Change (Fiction, Libros Libertad, 2011) and Martial Music (poetry, Signature Editions, 2016) all of which have won the prestigious Bressani Award, and an International Crime novel, Operation Stealth Seed (Signature Editions, 2019) which won the Michael von Rooy Award for Genre Fiction.

Manahil Bandukwala is a writer and visual artist originally from Pakistan and now settled in Canada. In 2021, she was shortlisted for the bpNichol Chapbook Award. She works as Coordinating Editor for Arc Poetry Magazine, and is Digital Content Editor for Canthius. She is a member of Ottawa-based collaborative writing group VII. Her project Reth aur Reghistan is a multidisciplinary exploration of folklore from Pakistan interpreted through poetry and sculpture. She holds an MA in English from the University of Waterloo. Her debut poetry collection is MONUMENT (Brick Books). See her work at manahilbandukwala.com.

Living on the Haldimand Tract in Kitchener, Ontario, Rae Crossman writes poetry both for the page and for oral performance. He has published poems in literary magazines and dramatized them on theatre stages, in classrooms, and around campfires on canoe trips. Working with dancers, musicians, and visual artists, he is particularly interested in the collaborative process of creativity. Joint projects include storytelling, choral compositions, and theatrical pieces set in natural environments.

Jannie Edwards is a writer, editor and teacher who lives in Amiskwacîwâskahikan/Edmonton on Treaty 6 / Métis Region #4 lands. Her most recent collaboration is the chapbook Learning Their Names: Letters from the Home Place (Collusion Books) with visual artist Sydney Lancaster.

Kevin Andrew Heslop is. Debut: the correct fury of your why is a mountain (Gordon Hill Press, Fall 2021). Lately:six feet | between us(McIntosh Gallery, Winter 2022); Revelations: Gathie Falk (Centred Magazine, Winter 2023). Forthcoming: in medias res (Westland Gallery, Spring 2023); mo(u)vements. (Astoria Pictures, Summer 2023); you are not required to complete the task; neither are you free to desist from it (Rose Garden Press, Spring 2024). Supported in part by the London Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, and Canada Council for the Arts.

Y.S. Lee is the 2022 winner of CV2’s Foster Poetry Prize. Her work appears/is forthcoming in EVENT, The Malahat Review, Arc Poetry Magazine, The Literary Review of Canada, and other journals. A lyric essay, “Tek tek”, was shortlisted for the 2022 CBC Nonfiction Prize, and her fiction includes the award-winning YA mystery series The Agency (Candlewick Press). She lives in a place we’re learning to call Katarokwi.

D.A. Lockhart is the author of multiple collections of poetry and short fiction. His work has been shortlisted for the Raymond Souster Award, the Indiana Author’s Award for Fiction, Relit Awards, and First Nations Communities READ Award. He is a graduate of the Indiana University – Bloomington MFA in Creative Writing program where he held a Neal-Marshall Graduate Fellowship in Creative Writing. He is pùkuwànkoamimëns (Turtle Clan) of the Moravian of the Thames First Nation. Lockhart currently resides at Waawiiyaatanong and Pelee Island where he is the publisher at Urban Farmhouse Press.

Sneha Madhavan-Reese is the author of the poetry collections Observing the Moon (Hagios Press, 2015) and Elementary Particles (forthcoming from Brick Books, Fall 2023). Her writing has appeared in publications around the world, including The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2016. She lives with her family in Ottawa.

Eleonore Schönmaier’s newest collection is Field Guide to the Lost Flower of Crete (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2021). Wavelengths of Your Song (MQUP) was published in German translation as Wellenlängen deines Liedes (parasitenpresse, 2020). Dust Blown Side of the Journey (MQUP) was a finalist for the Eyelands Book Awards 2020 (Greece). Her poetry has been widely anthologized in the United States and Canada including in Best Canadian Poetry. Multiple international composers have set her poems to music. Born and raised in a northern wilderness settlement she witnessed multiple forest fires, and once her community was airlifted to safety. She’s a former northern nurse. eleonoreschonmaier.com

Richard-Yves Sitoski (he/him) is a songwriter, performance poet and the 2019-2023 Poet Laureate of Owen Sound, on the territory of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation. His work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Arc, Prairie Fire, Train, The Fiddlehead, Bywords.ca, and elsewhere. 2021 John Newlove Award winner, 2022 Don Gutteridge Award winner (2nd place). His most recent works are No Sleep ‘til Eden (Ginger Press, 2020), an augmented reality collection of poems on the environment, and the chapbook How to Be Human (Bywords.ca, 2022). He is co-editor, with Penn Kemp, of Poems in Response to Peril: An Anthology in Support of Ukraine (Pendas Productions/Laughing Raven Press, 2021).

Michael V. Smith is writer, performer, and filmmaker living in Kelowna, BC. HIs most recent work is the feature film, The Floating Man, currently touring festivals around the world. Watch for his new poetry collection, Queers Like Me, out with Book*hug Press in Fall 2023. Michael teaches at UBC Okanagan.

Pujita Verma is an Indo-Canadian Poet & Illustrator. She was Mississauga’s Youth Poet Laureate (2018-2020), a Poetry In Voice National Finalist, and was recently longlisted for Palette Poetry’s Love & Eros Prize. Her work embraces themes of resilience and silence, culture and connection, memory, and matters of the heart. Pujita recently completed her BA in Political Science at Western University and works for the humanitarian organization War Child Canada.

Visit National Poetry Month to discover even more ways to celebrate poetry in April!

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 20222021 / 2020 / 2019 / 2018 / 2017 / 2016

Poem In Your Pocket Day Contest

Now closed. This contest was open in Fall 2022 and will reopen in Fall 2023.

The League is excited to announce that submissions  are now open for the Poem In Your Pocket Day contest for inclusion in the Poem in Your Pocket Day Postcards. Ten (10) Selected winning poets and their poems will receive $300, the full Poem Postcard Pack, and will be invited to provide an audio recording of their selected poem. LCP Members are invited to enter the contest free of charge and non-members are asked to include a $10 entry fee.

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

Submission Guidelines: 

  • This contest accepts poems in English. For French Poem in Your Pocket content, visit La Poesie Partout
  • Open to poets at any career level (professional, emerging, first-time, etc.)
  • Submit only one (1) poem with no identifying information (submissions will be judged blind).
    • Poem must not exceed 40 lines.
    • Poem content must be appropriate for readers of all ages (PIYP Postcards are distributed in schools).
  • Poems cannot be previously published.
  • This contest has an entry fee of $10 for submissions from the general public.
    • LCP Members are invited to enter the contest free of charge.
    • If you are unable to pay the contest fee, please send email to admin@poets.ca
  • Eligible to Canadian poets, poets living and working in Canada, as well as Indigenous, Inuit and Métis poets who may not identify as Canadian but live in the region known colonially as Canada.

Meet the Jurors:

We are delighted to have Frances Boyle and Keith Inman selecting the 2023 PIYP poems.