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Below is the description of the celebration from the Academy of American Poets:
Celebrate on April 26, 2012.
Poem In Your Pocket Day has been celebrated each April in New York City since 2002, and nationwide since 2008. Each year, parks, bookstores, workplaces, and other venues burst with open readings of poems from pockets.
Click a pocket below to download and print poems to share with others, or browse other poems for your pocket.
I’d love to hear what poems you shared today!!!
I am thankful for our monthly Spoken Word Gatherings! We had our April gathering last night and it was a BLAST! I shared my poem “The Silver Legacy” and a couple of new Exquisite Haiku’s We had about 19 people in attendance and some our first time guests felt comfortable enough to share their works with the group. We meet at a local community room that has a kitchen to prepare light refreshments. It really is the perfect intimate setting, not too small – not too large. Our hostess VW, works to bring in a featured Spoken Word Artist each month. Last night I had the chance to hear Komplex, an artist from the Baltimore, MD area. It was such a treat to hear his works. His lyrical tapestry was absolutely exquisite!
Below are some suggestions from Poets.org about putting together a local poetry reading in your community! Keep the children in mind, and make it an early afternoon family event.
Readings are a great way to promote poets and poetry. Perhaps you are part of a writing group and want to share your work with an audience. Or maybe you’re interested in gathering poets whose work you’ve admired, or you want to help discover new voices. You can select poets you know from writers groups, workshops, local colleges and universities (professors and students), or announce a call for readers.
When looking for a venue, consider your local library, coffee shop, bookstore, art gallery, bar, or performance space. Depending on where you have the reading, you may have to charge an admission fee or a drink minimum, which you can arrange with the owner or manager of the space.
Advertise your reading online and in print. You can post your event on the Academy’s free National Events Calendar using the simple online form. The event listing will also appear on the corresponding state page of the National Poetry Map. Create an event page on Facebook and invite your local contacts, and ask friends with websites and blogs to help publicize the reading. In addition to posting your event online, make flyers and send a listing announcement of the reading to your local newspapers and publications.
If you enjoy organizing the reading, then consider turning it into a weekly or monthly series. Your event may be the beginning of a long poetry tradition in your community.
Other Resources from Poets & Writers:
Poets & Writers Directory (to find poets in your area)
Spoken Word Artist
A lover of verse.
Inspired by spoken words
that express living.
by Michelle Lynn Thompson 04/14/2012
Another idea from poets.org – Celebrate your favorite poet by writing a letter!
Let the poets who you are reading know that you appreciate their work by sending them a letter. If there is a poem that you keep with you as a Life Line, tell its author that. Or your note can be as simple as a question.
“Dear Mr. Cummings—blasphemous, inexorable, disrespectful, sinful author though you are—you received a cordial welcome at my door today.”
Letter-writing is also a great activity to take on in the classroom, as many students’ letters have sparked long-lasting mentorships. For example, in Letters to a Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke sets out to advise a student, Franz Xaver Kappus, on his future but ends up presenting one of the most lurid explanations of his own aesthetic that he ever wrote. And none of it would have been written had Kappus not initiated the conversation.
Many poets will post their contact information on their websites or blogs. This is often the simplest way to get in touch with an author. If the poet works at an academic institution, he or she will often be listed in the faculty directory. Poets & Writers also provides a directory of writers willing to provide their information to the public.
If your search does not reveal a direct e-mail or mailing address, another option is to get in touch with the poet’s publisher. Even if the poet in question is unavailable or deceased, the gesture of writing a letter can bring you closer to his or her work.
It’s your turn! Below are some great tips form the Academy of American Poets on how to prepare for your Open Mic performance!
Chances are you’ve walked by your local coffee shop or neighborhood bar and seen a crowd of people listening to a poet reading his or her work. Usually free or requiring a small cover charge, open mic (short for “microphone”) readings are for anyone who wants to read their poetry in a public venue. Sometimes open mic nights have a featured reader or writing workshop, but generally there is a sign-up sheet for anyone interested. Each poet is called to step up to the microphone and read a poem or two.
Participating in an open mic reading can be a lot of fun. Some people attend just to listen, others to try out a new poem for an audience, and still others stop by to see if any crazy hijinks will ensue during the reading. It’s a great way to meet other writers in your area and find out about your local writing community. Check your local newspaper or library, ask at your local coffee house, or find a writers’ group in your area for information.
Here are some general public speaking tips to get you started:
- DO keep it short. If you see the MC tapping their watch or looking desperate, finish your poem and exit the stage gracefully.
- DO try to eliminate filler from your speech, as in “um, uh, well, yeah” and do speak clearly into the microphone. (If there is no microphone and you feel uncomfortable speaking loudly, clear diction will help your voice carry.)
- DO look at the audience when you can. Eye contact will always energize a performance. DO relax and have a good time! If you look comfortable in front of a crowd, the crowd will feel comfortable looking at you.
Spoken Word artists inspire me! I have had the opportunity to visit several different venues over the years, and I have heard some very talented wordsmiths. I marvel at how they choose the perfect words, and weave them into intricate layers of verse and meaning.
Many of the local venues host Open Mics, but they usually are held on a weeknight and don’t start until 9:00 p.m. Now, I know my concern is a direct reflection of my age, and my LOVE for sleep, but is it just UNCOOL to have a Spoken Word Matinee?
After talking about our love for the Spoken Word and our desire to attend more events with my “let’s-not-just-talk-about-it ~ let’s do it!” friend V, I received an email invitation to a Poetry Slam Meet-Up event. The best part about the invitation to the Spoken Word gathering was that it would be on a Saturday evening from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Now, that’s what I’m talking about!
We had our first event in January 2012. I was so excited because I wanted to challenge myself to get more serious about my writing, to share my work in front of an audience, and to find social opportunities to be with like-minded people. The event was a BLAST! We had about 15 people come out to the event. We had as our foundation that we would share profanity-free works. I shared three of my poems and it was great to hear the works of old and new friends. I look forward to each gathering so that I can spend quality time celebrating the creative pursuits of my new circle of companions.
It is very exciting for me to be in this season of my journey, where exploring my creative passions is providing me with such a wonderful sense of fulfillment and connecting me to some wonderful new friends.
I want to share information about two of my favorite Spoken Word artists – Rasheed Copeland and Joshua Bennett. I had the pleasure of hearing Rasheed at a Spoken Word gathering in Maryland. Link to Rasheed ‘s Bus Boys & Poets, DC 11th Hour Slam performance of Epiphany for a passionate expression of true love. I fell in love with Joshua Bennett’s work at a college visit to the University of Pennsylvania. Link to Joshua’s White House Evening of Poetry, Music and the Spoken Word performance of Tamara’s Opus a tribute to Joshua’s appreciation of his sister’s uniqueness. If you ever get an opportunity to hear Rasheed and Joshua perform live, you will be in for an exquisite experience!
On April 1, the Academy of American Poets will kick off its 2nd annual celebration of “30 Days, 30 Poets” for National Poetry Month. This April, 30 dynamic poets will take over curation of the Academy’s Tumblr. Each featured poet will have 24 hours to post an array of ephemera—in the form of text, images, audio, and video—before passing the baton. The Tumblr takeover follows 2011’s lauded “30 Days, 30 Poets” on the Academy’s Twitter feed.
Follow the Academy of American Poets on Tumblr to keep up-to-date on the latest poetry posts: http://poetsorg.tumblr.com.
Sleeping in today
A day off, for me!
By Michelle Lynn Thompson 04/05/2012