How Did You Spend Poem In Your Pocket Day?

April is National Poetry Month, and April 29 is "Poem in Your Pocket" Day.

It was a beautiful day at The New York Botanical Garden and our long-awaiting media event launching our new exhibition was a big success.  Here's the press release I wrote about it.  Wish you all could have been there. 

Mayor Bloomberg and Sigourney Weaver Help Launch
Emily Dickinson’s Garden and Kick Off Poem in Your Pocket Day
at The New York Botanical Garden
On April 29, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Sigourney Weaver, and others celebrated "Poem in Your Pocket" Day and helped launch The New York Botanical Garden’s spring show Emily Dickinson’s Garden: The Poetry of Flowers, the most comprehensive and multi-faceted exhibition about Dickinson’s life, gardens, and poems ever mounted in the United States. "Poem in Your Pocket" Day is a citywide celebration of poetry and literacy in which New Yorkers are encouraged to carry a poem in their pocket to share.

Beneath clear blue skies in front of an audience of over 500 people, including 60 New York schoolchildren, Mayor Bloomberg read a poem he wrote, inspired by Emily Dickinson’s “Hope is the thing with feathers.” Sigourney Weaver read her favorite Dickinson poem, “I’m nobody! Who are you?” joined by Gregory Long, President and CEO of The New York Botanical Garden. Student Lanasia McMillan from P.S. 46 read a poem she wrote based on the first line of Dickinson's poem "The skies can't keep their secret."

Mayor Bloomberg and Sigourney Weaver were also joined by Deputy Mayor Pattie Harris, Commissioner Kate Levin of the Department of Cultural Affairs, Maureen Chilton, Chairman of the Board of The New York Botanical Garden, and Alice Quinn, Executive Director of the Poetry Society of America, which is celebrating its centennial this year and co-presenting Emily Dickinson’s Garden.

State Poet Jean Valentine read Emily Dickinson’s first poem, written when she was 19 years old, “Awake ye muses nine, sing me a strain divine,” kicking off an ambitious marathon reading of all 1,789 Dickinson poems in chronological order, which will take place throughout the weekend. Visitors can register to be a part of the marathon reading at the Garden by signing up at

Mayor Bloomberg remarked, “The New York Botanical Garden is one of the city’s truly special places.  The opening of its new spring exhibition, Emily Dickinson's Garden: The Poetry of Flowers, made the Botanical Garden the perfect setting to kick off 'Poem in Your Pocket' Day and an even greater place to visit."

Sigourney Weaver said, “It’s great to be here at one of the great jewels of our country. The Dickinson show in the Conservatory is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen, inspiring the poet in us all.”

Gregory Long said the annual "Poem in Your Pocket" Day in New York City is a wonderful idea created by the Department of Cultural Affairs and the Mayor’s office. “As you know,” he said, “the fun of it is to carry around a favorite poem in your pocket all day long, which I hope everyone here is doing, so you can read it to your friends and share it with everyone you encounter. Today I hope that many of you will carry your favorite Emily Dickinson poem. During her lifetime Dickinson was better known as an accomplished and inventive gardener. The New York Botanical Garden’s exhibition allows visitors to experience her life, gardens, and poetry as never before.”

Emily Dickinson’s Garden: The Poetry of Flowers, which opens to the public on April 30 and runs through June 13, 2010, is a major cultural and literary event that tells the little-known story of Emily Dickinson—her life, her garden, and her poetry. A large-scale flower show re-creates Dickinson’s 19th-century New England gardens in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. A Gallery exhibition with over 50 objects such as manuscripts, books, watercolors, and photographs illuminates Dickinson’s life. A Poetry Walk, a self-guided tour, features Dickinson’s poems on signs located among the Botanical Garden’s collections, near the flowers that served as her muse. For more information about the exhibition, please visit

Major Sponsor
The National Endowment for the Humanities:
Because democracy demands wisdom.

Additional Support
The Kurt Berliner Foundation
New York Council for the Humanities
This exhibition is made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.
Public programs during Emily Dickinson’s Garden: The Poetry of Flowers are supported in part by
The Big Read, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with
the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts Midwest.
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of
he National Endowment for the Humanities.

Audio Tour is sponsored by Bloomberg

Exhibitions in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory are made possible by the Estate of Enid A. Haupt.

Exhibitions in the Mertz Library are made possible by the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust.

Spring Season sponsored by MetLife Foundation 

The New York Botanical Garden is a museum of plants located at Bronx River Parkway (Exit 7W) and Fordham Road. It is easy to reach by Metro-North Railroad or subway. The Botanical Garden is open year-round, Tuesday through Sunday and Monday federal holidays. The best way to enjoy the Garden is with the All-Garden Pass, which includes admission to the grounds as well as to seasonal gardens, exhibitions, and attractions such as the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, Rock Garden, and Tram Tour: $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and students with ID, $8 for children ages 2–12, children under 2 are free. A Grounds-Only Pass is available: $6 for adults, $5 for adult Bronx Residents; $3 for seniors, $2 for students with ID, $1 for children ages 2–12, children under 2 are free. Grounds-only admission is free all day on Wednesdays and from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. Discounts available for groups of 15 or more. Contact Group Tours, 718.817.8687. For more information, please call 718.817.8700 or visit Read the Botanical Garden's popular blog, Plant Talk: Inside The New York Botanical Garden at

The New York Botanical Garden is located on property owned in full by the City of New York, and its operation is made possible in part by public funds provided through the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. A portion of the Garden’s general operating funds is provided by The New York City Council and The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The Bronx Borough President and Bronx elected representatives in the City Council and State Legislature provide leadership funding.