April 8, 2008 Library of Congress to Celebrate Academy of American Poets' "Poem in Your Pocket Day"

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Peter Armenti (202) 707-1676 | Patricia Gray (202) 707-5394

If you love a poem and want to share it with others, the Library of Congress will offer you a stage. The Library will celebrate the Academy of American Poets’ first national “Poem in Your Pocket Day” with two events on Thursday, April 17, a poetry reading at noon and a web conference from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Shoppers, too, can be enriched on “Poem in Your Pocket Day.” On April 17, visitors to the Library of Congress Sales Shop will be entitled to a 20 percent discount when they show the cashier a published poem. For the poetry reading, bring a published poem (not your own) to the Mary Pickford Theater on the third floor of the James Madison Building. The poem in your pocket will grant you entrance to the theater and the opportunity to read the poem to the audience. If a trip to the Library isn’t possible, you can share your selected poem online during the web conference. Participants will present their poem in the order in which they log in to OPAL (Online Programming for All Libraries). Those who have a microphone have the option of reading their poem aloud. Participants without microphones may provide a link to their poem, and Library of Congress employees will take turns reading these poems. To attend the web conference, go to OPAL at www.opal-online.org/. Follow these instructions:

  • From the Quick Links column on the left, choose Auditorium.
  • Click the “Download Here” button in the light blue rectangle in the center of the screen.
  • Follow the directions to download and install the software plug-in. Installation should be quick, depending on your computer and connectivity.
  • Click the link in the orange rectangle to enter the room.
  • A gray box will appear with text asking permission to launch an external application, web conference plug-in. When the grayed-out text “Launch Application” becomes black, click the “Launch Application” button.
  • Type your name (no password is required) and click “Log On” to enter the online conference.
The Poetry at Noon reading is sponsored by the Library’s Poetry and Literature Center. For more information about the center, visit www.loc.gov/poetry/about.html. The web conference is sponsored by the Library’s Digital Reference Section. For more information, see Virtual Programs and Services at www.loc.gov/rr/program/.


PR 08-071
ISSN 0731-3527