Thursday, January 9, 2014

It's Coming: Poetry At Work Day!

Tuesday, January 14, is Poetry At Work Day, sponsored by TweetSpeakPoetry. I've listed below some resources you might draw on to help prepare your celebration of poetry at work. Your event may be as simple or as involved as you want it to be: a resource table of poetry collections to share or exchange, a bulletin board where employees might tack their own poems about their jobs, a poetry reading over the company public address system, a video presentation about your state's Poet Laureate, a typed poem included with every lunch an employee buys in the company cafeteria, a poetry-with-coffee break, a subscription for every employee of Every Day Poems. There's no limit to what you can do to honor your own poets at work.

Here's one example of a resource to share: a video of Joseph Bathanti, North Carolina's Poet Laureate, reading his wonderful poem "Knocked". It pays homage to Bathanti's father, a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, steel mill worker. Bathanti, who tells us his father never talked about his work — "he was selfless and humble, and just went on" — never saw his father's workplace until the morning he dropped him off at the mill because he needed the family car to get to a post-prom picnic. Watch the video and then share your own experience of the jobs your parents held.

Profile of Joseph Bathanti at Writing Without Paper

Review of Joseph Bathanti's Concertina

Also see Joseph Bathanti's poem "Fayetteville", which he penned to honor the veterans with whom he works.

Yet another resource is this profile of the award-winning Rafael Campo, a physician who recently published his sixth poetry collection, Alternative Medicine (Duke University Press Books, November 2013). Campo's other collections include The Healing Art: A Doctor's Black Bag of Poetry (W.W. Norton, 2003). The doctor's poem "Morbidity and Mortality Rounds" was the winner of the 2013 Hippocrates Open International Prize.

Here, Campo reads his poem "Hospital Song". You'll find him reading "Health" and Primary Care" in these additional videos from PBS NewsHour Art Beat.

Profile of Rafael Campo

Resources for Poetry At Work Day

Poetry At Work (T.S. Poetry Press, November 2013) by Glynn Young and Excerpt

Book Club Discussion of Poetry At Work at TweetSpeakPoetry

Poetry At Work Day Infographic

Poetry At Work Day Poster

Resource Table Ideas

The Importance of Poetry Instruction (LiveBinders Compilation by Jean Kanzinger)

Lesson Plan - Discovering Your Voice Through Poetry (This is an introduction to Campo's poetry. Additional poetry materials are available a the link.)

The National Department of Poetry (Graphic)


Lyla Willingham Lindquist said...

Thanks for this great collection of resources and ideas, Maureen.

I'm thinking to install a PA system in my home office so I can read a poem to ... umm ... hmm. I wonder if my Office in a Box includes coworkers... ;-)

L.L. Barkat said...

Excellent roundup, Maureen! (And thanks for including us so prominently in it :)

Nancy said...

Ah! You can take the poet out of Pittsburgh, but you can never take Pittsburgh out of the sound of his voice. Thanks for posting this tribute to the generation of hard-working steelworkers from a place I love.

drew said...

Really enjoyed seeing Campo and Trethewey on PBS Newshour the other night. Such a great blending of poetry and medicine. Thanks so much for sharing it here too.