The Poetry to the People Tour Is Coming to Philadelphia!

By Clare F. Mon, June 10, 2019

At the Free Library of Philadelphia, we know firsthand that access to books and other media can change lives. The Poetry to the People tour is dedicated to increasing such access—so we’re obviously thrilled to be one of the stops on the tour’s 1,800-mile journey from New York City to New Orleans, and back again!

This innovative undertaking—a partnership between House of SpeakEasy, a New York–based nonprofit that connects writers and audiences, and Narrative 4, a global storytelling organization—is bringing books, poetry, conversation, and advocacy to 10 cities in just 10 days, winding its way around the eastern half of the United States from June 13 to June 23. Along the way, the tour will deliver books to underserved communities, visiting schools, prisions, and libraries in an effort to widen access to book ownership. Low- and no-cost books will be offered out of House of SpeakEasy’s 27-foot-long book truck at every stop, and programming with partner organizations will include conversations, readings, workshops, and more.

On Friday, June 14, come by the Parkway Central Library to experience Poetry to the People for yourself. From 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m, the book truck will be parked at 1901 Wood Street, immediately to the north of Parkway Central; browse some great titles, and even take some home with you! A limited number of free books will be given out to participating students.

We’re also hosting two very special events in partnership with the tour. At 2:00 p.m., join us for a slam poetry workshop with Rayna Guy, poet, English instructor, and Director of Community Life, Diversity, and Inclusion at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy. (This free workshop is for ages 14 and above.) And at 4:00 p.m., all are welcome to attend an open-mic poetry reading/slam featuring the work of participants in a writing workshop led by Raquel Salas Rivera, the 2018–19 Poet Laureate of Philadelphia and recent recipient of both an American Academy of Poets Laureate Fellowship and a Lambda Literary Award in the transgender poetry category. Rivera will share their work at the reading, as well.

For full details of Poetry to the People’s much-anticipated stop in Philadelphia and to RSVP for the workshop and open mic, please visit our calendar. See you at the book truck!

Poetry to the People arrives in Philadelphia on Friday, June 14!
Poetry to the People arrives in Philadelphia on Friday, June 14!
Raquel Salas Rivera has served as Philadelphia’s poet laureate since 2018.
Raquel Salas Rivera has served as Philadelphia’s poet laureate since 2018.

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