23. Poetry Foundation Celebrates National Poetry Month

Programming includes Poetry magazine, poetry films, iPhone app, multimedia poetry tours, recitation contest, readings, online educational resources, and more

CHICAGO – The Poetry Foundation is pleased to announce an exciting array of literary events and programs in celebration of National Poetry Month, April 2010.

For its April issue, Poetry has dispensed with the usual prose section in order to make room for extensive Q&A’s with the poets. Designed to enable readers to have a deeper experience with the poems in the issue, and also to give some insight into the questions that editors ask when considering submissions, the Q&A’s are probing, surprising, sometimes testy, and often funny. Poets featured in the issue include Rae Armantrout, Todd Boss, H.L. Hix, Cathy Park Hong, Devin Johnston, Adam Kirsch, Randall Mann, Spencer Reece Donald Revell, and Robyn Schiff. The Q&A’s are also available online atwww.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine.

Poetry Everywhere
Thirty-two new films debut as part of Poetry Everywhere, a poetry film series produced in association with WGBH Boston and David Grubin Productions. Featuring poets such as Seamus Heaney, Toi Derricotte, Kevin Young, and Marilyn Chin reading their work, the films air intermittently on public television. They are also available online at www.pbs.org/poetry andwww.poetryfoundation.org/poetryeverywhereThe just-released 2010 season of Poetry Everywhere introduces an accompanying iPhone application, available for free in the iTunes App Store, that offers selected videos from the project.

Multimedia Chicago and DC Poetry Tours
Featuring poems thematically related to each city and its unique neighborhoods and cultural landmarks, and showcasing the voices of a range of poets past and present—including Elizabeth Alexander, Thomas Sayers Ellis, and Robert Lowell in DC, and Gwendolyn Brooks, Carl Sandburg, and Stuart Dybek in Chicago—the Chicago and DC Poetry Tours include archival and contemporary recordings of poets and scholars as well as music, art, and photography. The Washington Post described the DC Poetry Tour as “a poetry-themed Acoustiguide, where the streets are your museum and where each picture is accompanied by a poem,” and noted the project’s focus on an “all too often hidden cultural history.” Both tours can be experienced virtually at or downloaded for mp3 players atwww.poetryfoundation.org/poetrytours, free of charge.

The Poetry Foundation will host several poetry readings in Chicago throughout National Poetry Month. Presented in association with the Art Institute of Chicago, Derek Walcott reads on April 1 in Fullerton Hall. On April 13, Indigo Moor, Roger Bonair-Agard, and Kelly Norman Ellis will read at the Jazz Showcase. Cornelius Eady will read at the Cindy Pritzker Auditorium of the Harold Washington Library Center on April 24.All readings are free and open to the public, with seating on a first-come, first-served basis.

Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest
At the end of the month, 53 high school students will walk onstage to face their peers, armed only with poems they have memorized and made their own. One will walk away with 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. The National Finals take place on April 26–27 in Washington, DC. More information is available atwww.poetryoutloud.org.

Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute
The Poetry Foundation recently released the first project of the Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute (HMPI), “Poetry and New Media: A Users’ Guide.” Intended for use by poets and others in the poetry community as a tool to help them rethink their relationship to copyright and fair use and thus to develop permissions practices that allow the greatest possible access to poems while still protecting the rights of creators, the report also includes recommendations intended to help the poetry community use new media for poetry education. The full report is available for free download atwww.poetryfoundation.org/institute.

Poetry Learning Lab
Teachers and students are invited to explore the Poetry Learning Lab, the Poetry Foundation’s recently launched media-rich online poetry experience. Developed with a team of teachers, librarians, and poets to provide an immersive educational experience with poetry, the Lab provides readers of all levels with the opportunity to practice close reading and listening skills and to think broadly and analytically about poetry and poetics. Resources available as part of the project include annotations, reading guides, audio and video recordings, discussion questions, writing ideas, teaching tips, and podcasts.Designed for anyone who wants to learn more about poetry, the Poetry Learning Lab is available atwww.poetryfoundation.org/learninglab.

The Poetry Foundation’s blog, Harriet, will host over 30 poets, including Brian Turner, Kwame Dawes, Rachel Zucker, and Wanda Coleman, for a month-long conversation about poetry, poetics, and the poetry blogosphere.www.poetryfoundation.org/harriet

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