Chicago’s Poetry Foundation launches ‘Favorite Poem Project: Chicago’ April 11

Online Staff Report

CHICAGO — In an effort to document the role of poetry in the lives of Chicagoans, the Favorite Poem Project and Chicago’s own Poetry Foundation have chosen the favorite poems of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and five other Chicagoans to be featured in the video initiative Favorite Poem Project: Chicago, which will launch at 7 p.m., Friday April 11, at the Poetry Foundation, 61 W. Superior St., Chicago. A reception will follow.

With Favorite Poem Project: Chicago, the Poetry Foundation brings to the city poet Robert Pinsky’s national initiative as U.S. Poet Laureate (1997-2000). Pinsky’s Favorite Poem Project celebrates poetry as a vocal art.

A favorite poem can be a talisman or mantra, a clue, landmark or guiding star, and dwells deep down in our psyches,” said Poetry Foundation President Robert Polito. “The readings on the videos are investigative, probing, revelatory, and ultimately autobiographical and moving. Chicago possesses a rich poetry tradition, and we invite our fellow citizens to join us in launching this poetry initiative.”

The Favorite Poem Project is dedicated to celebrating, documenting and encouraging poetry’s role in Americans’ lives. Robert Pinsky, the 39th Poet Laureate of the United States, founded the Favorite Poem Project shortly after the Library of Congress appointed him to the post in 1997. During the one-year open call for submissions, 18,000 Americans wrote to the project volunteering to share their favorite poems — Americans from ages 5 to 97, from every state, of diverse occupations and backgrounds. From those letters emerged several enduring collections: three anthologies and 50 mini-documentaries, which are available for viewing at

The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative literary prizes and programs. For more information, visit or call (312) 787-7070.

Posted April 9, 2014

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