Favorite Poem Project

The International Festival of Arts & Ideas, in association with the Connecticut Library Consortium, will officially launch the "Favorite Poem Project" at the Connecticut Library Association Conference on Wednesday April 29 with an introduction by Robert Pinsky, the 39th Poet Laureate of the United States. Mr. Pinsky comes to New Haven to celebrate April as National Poetry Month and launch the Festival’s statewide initiative celebrating Connecticut’s residents and their best loved poems.

As part of the launch events, Mr. Pinsky will hold a special book signing at 2pm at the Yale Bookstore where a wide selection of Pinsky’s books will be available for sale and signing; the event is free and open to the public.

The launch day culminates with a cocktail reception and dinner featuring poetry readings by Robert Pinsky and a performance by composer and bassist Ben Allison beginning at 6pm at the Quinnipiack Club (221 Church Street, New Haven). Guests at the reception will have the opportunity to meet and talk with both artists. For tickets to the cocktail reception and dinner, or to request information about sponsoring the Favorite Poem Project in Connecticut, call or e-mail Laura Folker at 203.498.3758 or lfolker@artidea.org. This intimate evening will help raise funds for this and other Festival community programs.

When Robert Pinsky founded and launched the “Favorite Program Project” in 1997, he made an open call for submissions. People from all walks of life submitted their favorite published poems and gave a synopsis of why the particular work moved them. Pinsky compiled these into an anthology he called “An Invitation to Poetry.” The Festival’s “Favorite Poem Project” mirrors Pinsky’s original concept and is dedicated to celebrating, documenting and encouraging poetry’s role in Americans’ lives. People across Connecticut are invited to submit their favorite published poems to the Festival for possible inclusion in an anthology or video documentaries.

To begin the Festival on June 13, a selection of readers from throughout the state will share their favorite poems in a community reading hosted by Pinsky. From April 29 to June 12, libraries, bookstores, schools, and community groups throughout the state are encouraged to host their own Favorite Poem events.

AT&T is the Lead Sponsor of the Favorite Poem Project in Connecticut. The Favorite Poem Project in Connecticut is sponsored in part by Barnes & Noble, and supported in part by the Yale Bookstore.