Dolores Kendrick, a native Washingtonian, published author and respected voice has served as the Poet Laureate of the District Columbia since 1999. In her role as Poet Laureate she engages residents in programs and events to highlight poetry in the District. April 26, 2012 is a day that every Washingtonian can help do the same thing by participating in Poem in Your Pocket Day.
In 2002 Poem in Your Pocket Day began as part of National Poetry Month celebration in New York and has since spread across the United States. The idea is simple. Choose a poem that you love, carry it in your pocket and share it with friends, colleagues and strangers when you have the chance during the course of the day.
If you don’t have a favorite poem don’t worry. Poets.org provides an entire page dedicated to Washington poets, poems about the District and resources to connect you to writing centers and festivals throughout the year. You can also find venues to share your own poetry by visiting Poetry in DC. The site is a popular blog that keeps a current list of opportunities in the Washington area to listen to and share your poetry at open mic nights and other special events. You can also follow Poetry in DC on Twitter. The handle is aptly: @poetryindc
For those more interested in digging deeper in the works of other Washington poets, the Washington DC Poetry Tour provides that opportunity. The Poetry Foundation allows guests to download free audio tours and maps that use poets and poetry to explore the National Mall and Northwest DC. On their site you can also download a walking tour beginning at the Library of Congress and ending in Dupont Circle. The online and audio tour features poems written in and about DC.
On April 26 if someone asks if that is a poem in your pocket or if you are just happy to see them – answer both.