the power & the beauty of language
Poetry for Everyone celebrates National Poetry Month by showcasing the work of emerging, immigrant, and indigenous poets.
Poetry in motion
Since 2019, Partners in Print has collaborated with poets to create an annual Poetry for Everyone pocket poem. Inspired by Poem in Your Pocket Day, which takes place each year at the end of April, they’re designed to be shared and provide a moment to pause and reflect.
These bilingual letterpress printed poetry cards — featuring the work of emerging, immigrant, and indigenous poets — are the heart of PiP’s Poetry for Everyone program. With the help of community support, the pocket poems are distributed freely at independent bookstores and National Poetry Month events in Washington State. They’re a tangible reminder of what program founder Claudia Castro Luna calls “the power and beauty of language.”
2019: Memories in our bones
Yarely López Martinez was in 9th grade at Evergreen High School when they wrote “My Load.” This excerpt was chosen in 2019 by Claudia Castro Luna (Poet Laureate of Washington, 2018–2021) for our inaugural pocket poem card:
Some memories never leave your bones, like the salt in the sea; they become part of you and you carry them.
The cards, letterpress printed in Spanish and English, were given as gifts from the Washington Poet Laureate program at independent bookstores and libraries in celebration of National Poetry Month.
As the world gravely observed the first anniversary of the Covid pandemic, Lummi Nation youth poet Sadie Olsen surfaced its undercurrent of deep appreciation for our most basic needs.
This excerpt from Sadie’s “Poem of Thanks” was chosen by Rena Priest (Poet Laureate of Washington, 2021–2023) and translated from English into Xwlemi Chosen by Ted Solomon.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, for the beautiful water. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for the beautiful water.
Sadie’s words of gratitude were letterpress printed in both languages. The 2021 Poetry for Everyone pocket poems were given as gifts from the Washington Poet Laureate program at independent bookstores and libraries in celebration of National Poetry Month.
2022: War affects all of humanity
The eruption of war in Ukraine in 2022 stirred up intense emotions and righteous concern for Ukrainian citizens. And yet, war and refugee crises affect all of humanity, all over the world. To underscore this, PiP partnered with The Stories of Arrival: Refugee and Immigrant Youth Voices Poetry Project for our third Poetry for Everyone project.
The Stories of Arrival program at Foster High School in Tukwila, WA — one of the most culturally diverse high schools in the United States — helps students use the power of creative writing to reflect on the immigrant experience and envision a more peaceful and humane world.
Myanmar refugee Suan Pau was in 9th grade at Foster High School when they wrote “Letter to Burma.” The excerpt chosen for the pocket poem was letterpress printed in Tedim and English:
This isn't a place where we need to be fighting. Let us encourage each other, let us fight for our rights. Let us not kill ourselves, like shooting birds in the sky.
Suan’s words of peace were distributed on PiP’s 2022 Pocket Poem, for free, at independent bookstores and National Poetry Month events throughout the Puget Sound region.
2023: Our vital connection with nature
While studying letterpress printing, Washington Poet Laureate Emerita Claudia Castro Luna wrote and printed a monumental poem about a river. This year she gives us a compelling reason to think of the trees. PiP’s Poetry for Everyone offering for 2023 is a fresh, airy reminder of our intimate and vital connection with nature.
green is the color of love, as in the foliage of trees, who birth air that we may breath, and be. dream, and give and make love. verde es el color del amor, como el follaje de los árboles quienes emiten el aire que respiramos. por ellos somos. por ellos damos y hacemos el amor.
Poetry for Everyone was created in service of the community. Partners in Print is deeply grateful for support from our wonderful donors and the following organizations, past and present: