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Library activities revolve around poetry

By April 6, 2011

Thursday is national Poem in Your Pocket Day and Davis poet laureate Allegra Silberstein has an afternoon of poetry activities planned at the Davis public library.

Activities start at 1 p.m. and run until 6 p.m. in the Blanchard Room at the Stephens Branch Library, 315 E. 14th St. in Davis.

Participants, from toddlers to seniors, are encouraged to come recite a poem from memory — either their own or one they’ve chosen. Readings by adults and very young children will begin at 1:30 p.m., followed by elementary school students at 3:30 p.m. and junior high and high school students at 4:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, the community bulletin board will be cleared for Poem in Your Pocket activities. Some pockets will be filled with poems to take home; others will be open for patrons to fill with poems of their own or with poems that can be added to.

Poem in Your Pocket day began in 2002 in New York City and has continued and spread to cities across the nation since. The idea is simple: select a poem you love, and on April 14 carry it with you to share with friends, family and co-workers. Share by reading the poem, reciting from memory or carrying multiple copies to hand out. You can also text-message or email a poem to your friends.

All of April, in fact, is National Poetry Month, inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. During this month, schools, libraries, poets, publishers and booksellers across the nation celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture.

Silberstein, who became poet laureate last year, is especially interested in encouraging elementary students to memorize poems, to know the words they love by heart.

“Young people now have amazing resources for gaining information,” she noted, “but the storage in our own memory bank helps us to model our world and the memory of poems can enhance our experience of the world.”

Anne Ternus-Bellamy

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