Florida residents are invited to share their favorite poems for a national video documentary initiative about the role of poetry in American lives
March 30th, 2015
Illustration by André da Loba
CHICAGO – Throughout National Poetry Month (April), the Favorite Poem Project and the Chicago-based Poetry Foundation invite Floridians from Pensacola to Key West to share their favorite classic or contemporary poem as part of Favorite Poem Project: Florida. From the Florida submissions, up to six poems will be selected for a final video mini-documentary series to air later in the year.
“A favorite poem can be a talisman or mantra, a clue, landmark or guiding star, and dwells deep down in our psyches,” said Poetry Foundation President Robert Polito. “The readings in the videos are investigative, probing, revelatory, and ultimately autobiographical and moving. Florida possesses a rich poetry tradition, and we invite our fellow citizens to join us in this poetry initiative.”
To Share a Favorite Poem:
During April’s open call for poems, Floridians are asked to go to poetryfoundation.org/favoritepoemflorida to submit the title and author of their favorite poem with a few sentences about why it resonates for them.
One in a series of state-by-state national poetry programs that celebrates, documents, and encourages the role of poetry in American lives, Favorite Poem Project: Florida brings to the sunshine state poet Robert Pinsky’s national initiative as U.S. Poet Laureate (1997-2000). Last year the Poetry Foundation relaunched Pinsky’s Favorite Poem Project with Favorite Poem Project: Chicago.
“Many different American musics, cuisines, languages and people find a unique mix in Florida, with its reach into the past and the future,” said Robert Pinsky. “All that is appropriate for the Favorite Poem Project, which involves individual choices and shared heritage, democracy and aspiration– and, above all, pleasure and art.”
The Favorite Poem Project is dedicated to celebrating, documenting and encouraging poetry’s role in the lives of Americans. 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 a one-year open call for submissions, 18,000 Americans wrote to the project sharing 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.
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 poetryfoundation.org.