FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 16, 2008
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG PUBLISHES A POEM IN HONOR OF SIXTH ANNUAL POEM IN YOUR POCKET DAY
Mayor Also Records a Poem for Callers to City Agencies - Initiative Promotes Poetry and Literacy in Schools and at Events Across NYC
In anticipation of the sixth annual Poem In Your Pocket Day on Thursday, April 17th, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today published his first poem:
Pardon me, sir, I’ve a question or two …
Sir, you said poetry is a delight…
Reading it makes you smarter, more mature?
But is it better for people not to read verse?
Do you read sonnets? Limericks? Odes?
All these short answers. Why?
Follow-up! What do you do in your free time?
Could poems appeal to the Press?
But can they help with traffic congestion?
Mayor Bloomberg’s poem was published today in Metro New York. The Mayor has also recorded a poem for New Yorkers that plays on NYC Radio and for phone callers on hold with City agencies.
Poem in Your Pocket Day encourages New Yorkers to carry a poem in their pocket and share them with friends, family, co-workers and classmates. In conjunction with National Poetry Month, and in partnership with Metro New York, The Poetry Society of America, The Academy of American Poets, Bryant Park Corporation and Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing, this public-private sector initiative promotes poetry and literacy at schools, libraries and cultural organizations throughout the five boroughs.
New Yorkers who want to write their own poems should visit www.nypl.org/blog. The site features poet and educator John Waldman’s "envelope project,” a collaboration between the Poetry Society of America, the New York Public Library, and City agencies. Project participants compose their own poems based on the first line of well-known poems. Their poems are then recited and read side-by-side with the originals – an innovative way to integrate poetry writing, reading, spoken word, memorization and literacy.
The Department of Education (DOE ) has developed a special poetry curriculum for use by teachers, parents and students throughout all five boroughs. During the entire month of April, the Department has conducted the PS Poem Campaign, which asks students to submit original works of poetry for publication on the DOE website. More than 480 New Yorkers, including published poets and literary professionals, will volunteer in the schools on April 17th to share their favorite poems with public school students.
Poem In Your Pocket Day Highlights:
Cultural organizations and libraries throughout the City have planned dozens of events leading up to Poem In Your Pocket Day, including readings, discussions and open mic forums. 96.3 FM WQXR Radio is airing public service announcements promoting these family-friendly events.
A comprehensive listing of Poem in Your Pocket Day and National Poetry Month events, along with poems for download and use on Poem in Your Pocket Day, are available at www.nyc.gov/poem. Poem in Your Pocket Day event listings and sample poems can also be obtained by calling 311.
Stu Loeser/John Gallagher (212) 788-2958
Kate deRosset (Cultural Affairs)