Put a poem in your pocket

As part of National Poetry Month, JMRL is celebrating “Poem in Your Pocket Day!”

An employee of Chaps Ice Cream shop in Charlottesville, Virginia extends his arm offering a poem scroll for Poem In Your Pocket Day.

Stop by any JMRL library branch on Thursday, April 27 to pick out a poem scroll tied with a bow. Unwrap it, and possibilities unfold: read it to yourself, share it with someone close (or even a stranger), or just tuck it in your pocket for a rainy day. 

JMRL is also partnering with local businesses and other organizations to bring poetry into the community. Partners for Poem in Your Pocket Day include: Botanical Fare, Chaps, Mudhouse (Downtown), Splendora’s Gelato (Shops at Stonefield), Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, UVA Medical Center, and Virginia Discovery Museum.

A JMRL staff member demonstrates the before and after of rolling a poem scroll for Poem In Your Pocket Day.

To make this event possible, JMRL received permission to reproduce selected poems and print them on slips of paper—yellow for children’s poems and white for adults’ poems. Staff and volunteers have been busy rolling hundreds of poem scrolls to prepare for the big day! 

A white banner with black lettering saying “Got Poetry?” is displayed on the porch of JMRL’s Central Library in downtown Charlottesville to celebrate National Poetry Month.

“JMRL is thrilled to participate in another Poem in Your Pocket Day,” said Library Director David Plunkett. “Everyone can appreciate the connection that comes with sharing and savoring these rolled up moments of joy.”

“Poem in Your Pocket Day is a celebration of poetry, and the poem scrolls the library prepares—wrapped and tied with a bow—are like a little gift,” said JMRL Circulation Services Manager Brittany Eversberg, chair of JMRL’s 2023 Poem in Your Pocket Day Committee. “Each person has a unique response. People usually read the poem right away, whether they read it aloud or to themselves, and then they tuck it in their pocket (they take this literally), usually with a smile on their face.”

Want a poem right now? Enjoy this dramatic reading of the children’s book Daniel Finds a Poem by Micha Archer recorded by JMRL staff for last year’s PIYP Day festivities.

Poem in Your Pocket Day programming is sponsored by the Friends of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library.

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