Favorite Poem Project

fpp_production_sponsor_att Lead Sponsor

About the Favorite Poem Project

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky has always believed that poetry has a vital but little-acknowledged place in the hearts and minds of Americans. Through his Favorite Poem Project, Pinsky set about to document and celebrate that love of poetry. During a one-year open call for submissions, 18,000 Americans, from ages 5 to 97, from every state, of diverse occupations, kinds of education and backgrounds wrote to Pinsky sharing their favorite poems and personal stories of why those poems were so meaningful in their lives. Pinsky culled those poems and stories into three anthologies and created 50 short video documentaries of Americans reading and speaking personally about poems they love. Additionally, over the past ten years, based on Robert Pinsky’s belief that poetry is a vocal art, thousands of communities across the nation have come together to share favorite poems in public readings as part of the Favorite Poem Project.

The Favorite Poem Project in Connecticut

Presented by the Festival, in association with the Connecticut Library Consortium, the Favorite Poem Project in Connecticut mirrors Robert Pinsky’s original concept and is dedicated to celebrating, documenting and encouraging poetry’s role in Americans’ lives. People across Connecticut will be invited to submit their favorite published poems to the Festival. From the submissions, the Festival will select a group of readers from throughout the state to share their favorite poems in a Favorite Poem Community Reading hosted by Robert Pinsky on June 13, 2009. Submissions may also be used to create an anthology and video documentaries. Libraries, bookstores, schools, and community groups throughout the state will also be encouraged to host their own Favorite Poem Events, collect submissions, and create Favorite Poem Videos to be posted on the Festival’s website.

downloadClick here to read an exclusive Favorite Poem description from Festival guest A.B. Spellman

Readers Announced for the Community Reading on June 13

Roslyn Meyer – Dazzle of Day, Pablo Neruda
Sherwin Nuland - Upon Julia's Clothes, Robert Herrick
William Garfinkel - Wild Geese, Mary Oliver
Neel Pizinger - Once, Trumbull Stickney
Ruth Henderson - We Wear the Mask, Paul Laurence Dunbar
Sharon Olson - Lullaby, Adam Zagajewski
Herrick Jackson - Roof of the World, Major Jackson
Kate McEvoy - Moving, Rainer Maria Rilke
Dorthula Green - Life Is Fine, Langston Hughes
James Deng - Climbing Stork Tower, Wang ZhiHuan
Yefin Somin – Heureux qui comme Ulysse, Joachim du Bellay
Kim Stoner - Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front, Wendell Berry
Doreen Simjian - Source, Mark Doty
Allan Garry - Complaint, James Wright
Starship Dance Theater – Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou

Submit Your Favorite Poem Video

Here’s the deal in 7 easy steps:

download Video Submission Form1) Create your own “favorite poem” video. Some examples of videos created as part of the national favorite poem project can be found here - http://www.youtube.com/user/FavoritePoem2) All films submitted must be suitable for family audiences – anything deemed inappropriate will be flagged for removal from our group.

3) The theme is “Your Favorite Poem” – films submitted can include you reading a copy of your favorite poem, a short documentary about yourself (or others) and why the poem selected is your favorite poem, or a narrative film built around the themes of your favorite poem.

4) When your masterpiece is finished, join our YouTube group called “AIFPP09” and click “Add Video” to submit your entry.

5) Once you have submitted your video fill out a submission form to let us know that you have submitted a film

6) Selected videos may be chosen to be featured on our website (www.artidea.org) or possibly broadcast as part of Favorite Poem Project Community Gatherings.

7) By submitting your project to our group, you warrant that all film content is original and is either copyright-free, or wholly owned by you. In cases where credits must be given, you will include them in your submitted film.

Please e-mail us if you have any questions.

Visit Favorite Poem Lesson Plans for ideas on how to get your class or community group to create a Favorite Poem Video.

Click Here for a list of Favorite Poem Events

Get Your Community Involved

Any Library, Book Club, Community Group, Bookstore, School or Organization can become a Favorite Poem Partner!

First, email Andria Matthews at amatthews@artidea.org or if you are a library email Deb Zulick at dzulick@ctlibrarians.org and let us know you’d like to become a partner. We can provide you posters, submission cards, logos and books to help you get started.

Second, check out the following resources to help jumpstart your planning:

Click Here to Download download 30 Ways to Celebrate Poetry, a document with thirty great ways to get your community involved in the Favorite Poem Project.

Want to host your own Favorite Poem Community Reading? Download download How to Host a Favorite Poem Community Reading, for directions on how to plan this signature Favorite Poem Project event in your town.

Want to discuss poetry at your book club event? .downloadHow to Read A Poem: A Discussion Guide for Book Clubs/Groups

Other Resources

Visit www.favoritepoem.org for lesson plans, an archive of Favorite Poem Videos, and general information about the national Favorite Poem Project.

Visit www.poets.org for an extensive archive of poems, poetry recordings, lesson plans and programming ideas.

Visit this page to download pocket-sized poems.

Planning a Favorite Poem Project event?

Download this download Calendar Submission Form, to have your event added to our calendar.

Favorite Poem Project Partners

Lead Partners: International Festival of Arts & Ideas and the Connecticut Library Consortium

Albertus Magnus Bookstore

Albertus Magnus College

Amity Regional High School

Archbishop O’Brien Library, St. Thomas Seminary

Arts Council of Greater New Haven

Asnuntuck Community College

Bank Square Books

Bishops Corner Branch – West Hartford Public Library

Breakwater Books

Central High School Poetry Club

Cheshire Public Library

Clark Memorial Library

Commission on Substance Abuse Policy and Prevention

Community Mediation, Inc.

Connecticut Library Association

Connecticut Center for the Book at Hartford Public Library

Connecticut State Library

Creative Arts Workshop

Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County

Dwight Central Management Team


Faxon Branch – West Hartford Public Library

Fellowship Place

Guilford Free Library

Junta for Progressive Action

Labyrinth Books

Literacy Volunteers of Greater New Haven

Network for Civic Engagement

New Haven Correctional Center

New Haven Free Public Library

New Haven Public Schools

Newfield Branch – Bridgeport Public Library

RJ Julia Independent Booksellers

Southern Connecticut State University


Starship Dance Theater

Stetson Book Club

The Bridgeport Correctional Center

The Color of Words

The Friends of the Cossitt Library

The Jewish Coalition for Literacy

The New Haven Reads Community Book Bank

The Yale Bookstore

Torrington Library

Wallingford Public Library

Wednesday Night Poetry Series

Word of Mouth Poetry Series