April 14, 2011

Cornell Students Celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day

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Cornell celebrated Poem in Your Pocket Day on Thursday with the release of a small book of poems by the eight students in the MFA for Poetry program.

Approximately 2,400 copies of the chapbook were released in New York City’s Bryant Park, where the Academy of American Poets organized the Poem in Your Pocket Day annual celebration.

The University first began participating in Poem in Your Pocket Day in 2007, according to Alex Chertok MFA ’12.

“The whole point of the project is to give people something they can carry around … and to give them something that gives them slight pleasure in their day and to increase their pleasure in poetry and the arts in general,” Chertok said.

The MFA students will hold a reading of poems from the chapbook on April 28 to students at Ithaca High School.

Chertok said the project is a “noninvasive way” of breaking down stereotypes associated with poetry.

“It’s very tough to break that stereotype and be able to comfortably share our work with people who don’t normally enjoy poetry. This is a very effective and community-oriented way of spreading poetry to people who probably would not otherwise encounter a poem,” he said.

Chertok added that he believed in sharing poems more often than once a year. He suggested monthly poetry sharing opportunities instead.

“Poems ought to be shared with people,” he said.

A website was recently released to accompany the chapbook. It contains poems from each MFA student.

Original Author: Emily Coon