Favorite Poem Project: Chicago

 Introduction by Robert Polito and Robert Pinsky

Favorite Poem Project: Chicago documents the role of poetry in the lives of Chicagoans. This project brings to our city poet Robert Pinsky’s national initiative and celebrates poetry as a vocal art.  Late last year, the Poetry Foundation invited residents of “the city of big shoulders” to share their favorite poems and to speak about their personal significance. From hundreds of submissions, the national Favorite Poem Project and Chicago’s own Poetry Foundation chose the favorite poems of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and five other Chicagoans. In this exciting video series, discover a few of Chicago’s favorite poems and celebrate the poetry lovers who responded to our call.

We invite our fellow citizens to join us in watching the six videos of the Favorite Poem Project: Chicago series. We will release one or two new videos each week for the remainder of April.

Samantha Kyrkostas & Charles A. "Dockie" Schlegel
"When You Are Old" by William Butler Yeats

Hana Bajramovic
"The Idea of Order at Key West" by Wallace Stevens

Naomi Beckwith
"The Children of the Poor" by Gwendolyn Brooks

Mayor Rahm Emanuel
"Chicago" by Carl Sandburg

Tom Moran
"The Waking" by Theodore Roethke

Kurt Sepmeier
"Since There is No Help" by Michael Drayton

About the Favorite Poem Project
The Favorite Poem Project is dedicated to celebrating, documenting and encouraging poetry’s role in Americans’ lives. Robert Pinsky, the 39th Poet Laureate of the United States, founded the project shortly after the Library of Congress appointed him to the post in 1997. During the one-year open call for submissions, 18,000 Americans wrote to the project volunteering to share their favorite poems—Americans from ages 5 to 97, from every state, of diverse occupations and backgrounds. From those letters emerged several enduring collections: three anthologies and 50 mini-documentaries, which are available for viewing at favoritepoem.org.

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.