National Poetry Month, which takes place each April, is a celebration of poetry introduced in 1996 and organized by the Academy of American Poets as a way to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry in the United States. The Academy of American Poets’ website Poets.org serves as a hub for information about local poetry events during the month.
National Poetry Month is the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K-12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, bloggers, and, of course, poets marking poetry’s important place in our culture and our lives.
While we celebrate poets and poetry year-round, the Academy of American Poets was inspired by the successful celebrations of Black History Month (February) and Women’s History Month (March), and founded National Poetry Month in April 1996 with an aim to:
- highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets,
- encourage the reading of poems,
- assist teachers in bringing poetry into their classrooms,
- increase the attention paid to poetry by national and local media,
- encourage increased publication and distribution of poetry books, and
- encourage support for poets and poetry.
Participate in Poem In Your Pocket Day:
Every April, on Poem in Your Pocket Day, people celebrate by selecting a poem, carrying it with them, and sharing it with others throughout the day at schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, and on Twitter using the hashtag #pocketpoem.
Poem in Your Pocket Day was originally initiated in 2002 by the Office of the Mayor, in partnership with the New York City Departments of Cultural Affairs and Education, as part of the city’s National Poetry Month celebration. In 2008, the Academy of American Poets made the initiative national, encouraging individuals across the country to join in and channel their inner bard.
Poem in Your Pocket Day 2016 will be held on April 21.
Download Poems for Your Pocket:
Join the celebration by printing one of the following poems from the downloadable Poem in Your Pocket Day PDF.
Poetry is best when shared, and Poem in Your Pocket Day is the perfect time to surprise someone with the gift of poetry.
Poem in Your Pocket 2:
You can also make a “pocket” – aka a cell phone carrier – out of Duct Tape. This then becomes a pocket that you can carry your cell phone and a poem in.
Duct Tape Cell Phone Case Instructions can be found here:
There are also good YouTube tutorials:
Personalized Magnetic Poetry Kits:
Create your own magnetic poetry kits using recycled materials. By storing your magnets inside your old Altoid (or other recycled) tin, you can also use the inside cover as a place to create your own mini-poems.
- Magnets sheets or strips (I find that using the big rolls of magnet strips is difficult because they don’t want to lay flat)
- Old magazines/comic books
Cut out your favorite words and glue them onto the magnet sheets. Cut the magnets to size. Tada – you have your own magnetic poetry kit. The tin works really well to hold them and you can use the tin as canvas to make your own poems on the go.
For Magnet Carrying Case:
- Old tins (Altoid tins or old lunch boxes work great)
- Your favorite picture printed on regular printer paper
- Mod Podge
- A sponge brush
Create or print an image of your choice. Creating an original image using a variety of photo apps at the iPad bar really ups the MakerSpace factor here. Make sure it fits onto the front of your tin. Cut to size. Glue. Cover with Mod Podge. Allow it to dry completely.
Looking for inspiration to channel your inner bard with books about poems, poets, or writing poetry? Look no further than your local library! We have all the resources you might need, whether you want to enjoy a few poems, or write one of your own.
Check out the YA section in the Main AAPLD Library:
We have an awesome, interactive poetry display set up, with our own magnetic poetry board! Be a Poet: Come get creative, or see what others have added too.
Or, if you can’t stop in this month, you can even try an online Interactive Magnetic Poetry website.