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Celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day: April 14, 2011

New and Selected Poems: Volume 1 by Mary Oliver

The National Academy of American Poets has a simple way for people to celebrate National Poetry month: "Select a poem, pocket it, carry it, and share it with family, friends, and coworkers throughout the day." The 4th annual "Poem in Your Pocket day," celebrated on April 14, encourages poetry lovers of all ages to read and share a poem in celebration of this fantastic art form.

This is a perfect opportunity to return to your own bookshelves and spend half an hour perusing old friends whom you may not have visited in months or years. For me, it was the impetus to reread works by Mary Oliver, Anne Sexton, and Carolyn Forché. For my 10-year-old daughter, it gave her the urge to memorize some favorites from the well-worn copy of Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends. For the 12 year-old, caught between teen years and childhood, there is both Edgar Allan Poe and Jack Prelutsky. For the younger ones, the poetry of nursery rhymes still appeals. Through these explorations we discover that there is a poem out there that speaks to each of us in a special way.

The Poem in Your Pocket Day website has a number of ways to spread the word and encourage folks to tote their own poem:

Download pocket-sized PDFs of poems to share.

Sign up to receive a poem a day throughout April in your email.

Download the Poem Flow app for your iphone and have elegantly-displayed poetry with you at all times.

You can also browse our booklist, April is Poetry Month to find a new poetry favorite.