For Immediate Release

Poetry Foundation Celebrates National Poetry Month

Programming includes discussion groups, poetry films, redesigned website, community resources, recitation contest, readings, and more
April 5th, 2011

CHICAGO – The Poetry Foundation is pleased to announce an exciting array of literary events and programs in celebration of National Poetry Month, April 2011.

More than 20,000 free copies of Poetry’s April issue were distributed to 3,000 reading groups around the world in celebration of National Poetry Month. The giveaway program was introduced last year and has already seen a tenfold increase in participation. In the April issue, Poetry readers will find new translations of Arthur Rimbaud by John Ashbery, as well as work from Averill Curdy, W.S. Di Piero, Atsuro Riley, C.K. Williams, Laura Kasischke, Karen An-hewi Lee, and more. Readers can celebrate poetry, and find inspiration for talking and thinking about it, in the April issue’s discussion guide: and with the Poetry Magazine podcast, which recently won a National Magazine Award in Digital Media: The current issue of the magazine is available online at 

Poetry Everywhere
Eight new films debut in a new season of Poetry Everywhere, a poetry film series produced in association with WGBH Boston and David Grubin Productions. Featuring poets such as Kay Ryan, Rita Dove, Galway Kinnell, and Matthew Dickman reading their work, the films air during unexpected moments in the public television broadcast schedule. They are also available online at and, and can be found at iTunes U and YouTube. This month, the Poetry Everywhere collection also launches on Teachers’ Domain (, where educators will find resources—such as short introductions and discussion questions—to bring the films into the classroom. The updated collection at Teachers’ Domain comprises 35 poets, including Adrienne Rich, Naomi Shihab Nye, Mark Doty, Martín Espada, Kwame Dawes, and Marilyn Chin. These resources can be found online at

A Child’s Garden of Poetry
The Poetry Foundation has teamed up with HBO Family to produce A Child’s Garden of Poetry, premiering Thursday, April 28 at 6:30 p.m. Central Time on HBO. Featuring beloved poems read by top actors—including “My Shadow” by Robert Louis Stevenson, read by Julianne Moore, and “When You Are Old” by William Butler Yeats, read by Liam Neeson—the captivating program features whimsical animation and contributions from kids, who share selections from their favorite poets (from Shakespeare to Langston Hughes) and some of their own work, and speak from the heart about why they value poetry. A Child’s Garden of Poetry is the second collaboration between the Poetry Foundation and director-producer Amy Schatz. Classical Baby (I’m Grown Up Now): The Poetry Show, which debuted in April 2008, received an Emmy in the category of Outstanding Children’s Program.

The Poetry Foundation will present several poetry readings in Chicago throughout National Poetry Month. Presented in association with the Art Institute of Chicago, Mary Karr reads on April 5 in the Rubloff Auditorium. On April 16, the Poetry Foundation and the PianoForte Foundation present music by Ari Brown and Mabel Kwan inspired by the poetry of Reginald Gibbons, Christina Pugh, Ed Roberson, and Rachel Jamison Webster. Nikki Giovanni will read at the Cindy Pritzker Auditorium of the Harold Washington Library Center on April 30. Mary Karr and Nikki Giovanni’s readings are free and open to the public, with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. The PianoForte performance is a ticketed event. More information is available at

Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest
On April 28 and 29, high school students from every state (as well as Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Washington, D.C.) will compete in our nation’s capital for the title of Poetry Out Loud National Champion and a $20,000 award. Poetry Out Loud is a partnership initiative of the Poetry Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts that encourages the study of great poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high schools across the country. More information is available at

Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute
The Poetry Foundation’s Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute (HMPI) has co-published Blueprints: Bringing Poetry into Communities with the University of Utah Press; the e-book is available for free download, and the printed book is available for purchase from the press. Edited by inaugural HMPI director Katharine Coles, and intended for use by educators, arts administrators, and members of the poetry community, the book features essays by poets—including Robert Hass, Elizabeth Alexander, and Patricia Smith—discussing the various ways they’ve introduced poetry to diverse groups. Blueprints also provides a toolkit that presents strategies and tips for those interested in bringing poetry into their own communities. Earlier this year, HMPI also released a “Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Poetry,” a guide to reasonable and appropriate uses of copyrighted materials in new and old media, prepared in collaboration with American University’s Center for Social Media and its Washington College of Law. Both publications are available for free download at

Harriet: The Blog
During the month of April, the Poetry Foundation’s blog, Harriet, will host more than 30 poets, including Kenneth Goldsmith, Eileen Myles, and Major Jackson, for a monthlong conversation about poetry, poetics, and the poetry blogosphere. This is the second year the blog will host a National Poetry Month discussion; in 2010, invited poets, editors, publishers, and translators contributed to this lively community event. This year’s mix of voices and perspectives promises to be just as engaging and provocative. Follow the conversation at

Watch for a redesign of the Poetry Foundation’s award-winning website, which will feature the full archive of Poetry magazine dating back to 1912 and a richer, faster browsing experience, among other improvements. A preview of the update is available on our blog at

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About the Poetry Foundation
The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative literary prizes and programs. For more information, please visit


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