National Poetry Month is recognized in the U.S. (since 1996) and Canada (since 1998) during the month of April. This year the Academy of American Poets invites the month-long celebrations to culminate in a New York City tradition known as “poem in your pocket” day – a way of taking poetry to the streets.
Students in my Humanities courses worked together to create material that could be shared on campus as part of national poetry month celebrations. They chose to either design a broadside, recite and record a favorite poem, create a motion poem (a digital short film interpreting a poem), or to craft paper anthologies of poetry to be handed out on Poem in a Pocket Day.
We learned how the origin of the word anthology refers to a gathering of flowers and used that as inspiration to learn how to fold colorful paper printed with poems in various origami flower folds.
On April 30th, the official Poem in a Pocket Day, we gathered at the arts buildings courtyard to gift our creations to other students during the stress of final examinations week. Beyond educating our peers about poetry and sharing the diverse expressions of the cultures we learned about all semester, we most wanted to demonstrate that the arts and humanities are approachable, accessible and may be a joyful addition to the rush of everyday living.
photo credit: Holly Masturzo (April 2015)