Poet Laureate of the United States Robert Pinsky launched the Favorite
Poem Project with poetry readings in New York, Washington, Boston,
St. Louis and Los Angeles, in April 1998 during National Poetry
Month. A part of the Library of Congress Bicentennial celebration,
the Project is creating an audio and video archive of Americans
of all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life reciting their favorite
poems. At the heart of this initiative is Mr. Pinsky's belief that
poetry is meant to be read aloud. "If a poem is written well,
it was written with the poet's voice and for a voice. Reading a
poem silently instead of saying a poem is like the difference between
staring at sheet music and actually humming or playing the music
on an instrument."
two long-term goals of the Favorite Poem Project are to promote
the reading and appreciation of poetry and encourage the teaching
of poetry in schools nationwide. Collaborating with Mr. Pinsky are
the New England Foundation for the
Arts, which administers the program, the Library of Congress,
the home of the Poet Laureate, and Boston
Project aims to record up to 1,000 Americans saying poems
that they love. The first 50 videotaped poems were presented to
the Library of Congress on April 3 as part of "Poetry in America:
A Library of Congress Bicentennial Celebration," which was
cybercast live on the Library's Web site (loc.gov.gov/loc/cyberlc).
The Favorite Poem Project audio and video tapes will become
a permanent part of the Library's
Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature. "This will be a gift
to the nation's future, an archive that may come to represent, in
a form both individual and public, the collective cultural consciousness
of the American people at the turn of the century," said Mr. Pinsky,
a professor of English and creative writing at Boston University.
more information and to view online videos, please visit .
More information about "Poetry in America: A Library of Congress
Bicentennial Celebration" is available at loc.gov/today/pr/2000/00-019.html.