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Poem in Your Pocket day at St. Kate’s

A day to channel your inner bard.
A day to channel your inner bard.
Photo by Pauline Oo.

“Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful,” says Poet Laureate Rita Dove.

Poetry will rule at St. Catherine University and neighboring Carondelet Village on April 18 when Melinda Lockard and more than 20 volunteers spend the day distributing pocket-sized poems to everyone they meet.

Lockard, an English lecturer at St. Kate’s for over 20 years, got the idea to introduce “Poem in Your Pocket” to the University community from her brother last fall. This initiative, to encourage people to channel their inner bard and celebrate National Poetry Month, began in 2002 in New York City — and, since 2008, has come under the auspices of the Academy of American Poets.

“Students and faculty members from the English department will be going around in lime green T-shirts and bags filled with a variety of poems,” says Lockard. “They’ll give you a poem or read it to you, and if you like it, share it with the next person you see.”

St. Kate’s Hip Hop Club and Molly Balanay ’16 will offer a blend of hip-hop and poetry slam in The Pulse at 12:30 p.m. Balanay will perform “Yellow Bird,” a piece by award-winning poet and activist Andrea Gibson.

“Poems can be therapeutic,” says Lockard, who has a background in poetry therapy. “Plus, Poem in Your Pocket is a great way to show our University’s enduring commitment to the liberal arts.”

So, what happens if you don’t bump into one of these green volunteers?

Visit the Poem in Your Pocket table in the atrium of Coeur de Catherine. Or better yet, tuck a favorite poem into your pocket when you wake up that Thursday morning — and share that poem with your family, friends and co-workers.

Learn more about Poem in Your Pocket and National Poetry Month at the Academy of American Poets.

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April 11, 2013 by Pauline Oo

See also: Arts, Faculty, Liberal Arts, Students