FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 29, 2009
MAYOR BLOOMBERG PUBLISHES A POEM IN HONOR OF SEVENTH ANNUAL POEM IN YOUR POCKET DAY
Following City's Launch of NYC Service, More than 1,000 New Yorkers Volunteer in Public Schools to Share Their Favorite Poems and Promote Poetry and Literacy across New York City
In anticipation of the seventh annual Poem In Your Pocket day on Thursday, April 30th, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today published a poem:
“Volunteer!” says our latest
Read to kids
Coach a team
Learn to do
Help in any way, kind
Mayor Bloomberg’s poem was published today in Metro New York to encourage all New Yorkers to carry a poem in their pocket tomorrow to share with friends, family, co-workers and classmates.
Launched in 2003, Poem In Your Pocket day was developed by the Mayor’s Office, the Department of Cultural Affairs and the Department of Education. It occurs every April in conjunction with National Poetry Month. A partnership with Metro New York, the Poetry Society of America, the Academy of American Poets, Bryant Park Corporation, The New York Public Library, Everybody Wins!, Cornell University, Urban Word NYC and the Doubletree Metropolitan Hotel, Poem In Your Pocket day promotes poetry and literacy at schools, libraries and cultural organizations throughout the five boroughs.
New Yorkers who want to write and publish their own poems should visit The New York Public Library blog, which can be found through www.nyc.gov. The blog features a virtual version of poet and educator John Waldman’s “Envelope Project,” an innovative exercise to bring together poetry writing, reading, spoken word, memorization and literacy for writers of all levels. Participants are given an envelope with a famous first line on the outside, which they use as a starting point to write their own verse. This Thursday, John Waldman will visit P.S. 75, the Emily Dickinson School, to conduct the “Envelope Project” with New York City schoolchildren.
The Department of Education has rolled out its special poetry curriculum for use by teachers, parents and students throughout all five boroughs. More than 1,000 New Yorkers, including published poets and reading mentors from Everybody Wins!, are volunteering in the schools this week to share their favorite poems with public school students.
This year, the Department of Cultural Affairs launched its first-ever Facebook site to promote Poem In Your Pocket day. The site features a “Poem of the Day”, and encourages fans to participate in the “Envelope Project” through the New York Public Library blog.
The Academy of American Poets and ABRAMS is launching a new poetry anthology, Poem in Your Pocket, at the Strand Bookstore. The compilation of 200 classic and contemporary poems is designed to allow readers to easily tear out a poem to carry and share. More than 100 poets are featured, from Claude McKay to Edna St. Vincent Millay.
Mayor Bloomberg’s poem about volunteerism follows the launch earlier this month of NYC Service, a comprehensive initiative to promote a new era of service and volunteerism in New York City. The NYC Service program has three main goals: channel the power of volunteers to address the impacts of the current economic downturn, make New York City the easiest city in America in which to serve, and ensure every young person in New York City is taught about civic engagement and has an opportunity to serve. To view the initiatives in NYC Service, visit www.nyc.gov and view a copy of the full report.
Poem In Your Pocket day Highlights:
A comprehensive listing of Poem in Your Pocket day and National Poetry Month events, along with poems for download, are available at www.nyc.gov or through 311.
Stu Loeser/Andrew Brent (212) 788-2958
Kate deRosset/Danai Pointer (Cultural Affairs) (212) 513-9323