Readers (and listeners) are needed for the 17th Annual Favorite Poem Reading, sponsored by the Arts Society as part of the college’s celebration of National Poetry Month.

The reading is Tuesday, April 12, at 12:15 p.m. in the Williams Center for the Arts lobby. Lunch will be available (while it lasts). Interested readers should contact Lucy Kade by Monday, April 11.

The Favorite Poem Project
Launched by then–Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky in 1997, the Favorite Poem Project encourages Americans to think about the role of poetry in their lives. The project maintains a searchable database of favorite poems, has published an anthology, and encourages communities to sponsor Favorite Poem Readings, which bring together people of different backgrounds to share a reading of their favorite poems.

The Readers
Anybody connected with Lafayette College may share a favorite poem by reading it aloud. Students, secretaries, administrators, custodians, security guards, faculty, facilities operations employees—anyone who spends part of his or her day on campus is encouraged to read. And everyone is encouraged to come and listen.

The Rules

  • The poem must be a published work.
  • Readers may not read their own poetry.
  • Song lyrics, excerpts from greeting cards, and passages from religious books, such as the Bible or the Koran, are not allowed.
  • Readers may choose to talk about their poem, but they may not use notes of any kind. The only printed materials allowed are the actual poems themselves.
  • The reading of the poem plus any remarks shared by the reader cannot exceed five minutes.

The Poems
People read what is important to them. At a Favorite Poem Reading in Boston, a state senator read Andrew Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress,” a homeless man read Robert Frost’s “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” and a teacher recited Langston Hughes’ “My People” in American Sign Language. Selections at previous Lafayette Favorite Poem Readings have ranged from Emily Dickinson to George Carlin to “Casey at the Bat.”

More Information
The Favorite Poem Project explains the history of the project and provides links to other helpful sites.

Want to Read?
Contact Lucy Kade no later than Monday, April 11, if you’d like to read. We may not have time to include everyone, but please send a copy of your poem and a few words about why it’s your favorite, and we’ll put together a terrific program.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use basic HTML tags and attributes.