Poem in Your Pocket Day has been celebrated since National Poetry Month in April 2002. It was initiated by the Office of the Mayor in New York City, in partnership with the city’s Departments of Cultural Affairs and Education. In 2008, the Academy of American Poets took the initiative to all fifty United States, encouraging individuals around the country to participate. In 2016, the League of Canadian Poets extended Poem in Your Pocket Day to Canada.
It is simple to join the celebration. On Thursday, April 26 select a poem, carry it with you, and share it with others at schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, and street corners. You can also share it on social media using the hashtag #pocketpoem.
On Poem in Your Pocket Day, the town of Charlottesville, Virginia, unites in a day-long celebration of poetry. The project is spearheaded by Jefferson-Madison Regional Library, whose staff recruit members of the community—students, senior citizens, local business owners, neighbors, and friends—to distribute poem scrolls throughout Charlottesville. Over 7,000 scrolls are distributed to a local hospital, a children’s museum, libraries, senior centers, nursing homes, and numerous small businesses in the downtown area. They also put together a street team that hands out poems along the Charlottesville pedestrian mall.