Through the challenges of 2020, one of the abiding sources of relief for many of us has been poetry. More people than ever are looking to the written word for strength, wisdom, and comfort.
Even before the pandemic struck, Trapeta B. Mayson, Philadelphia’s 2020-21 Poet Laureate, knew poetry held this power and wanted to share its potential for healing with all of us. Trapeta, the Free Library, and the Kelly Writers House now welcome you to participate in Healing Verse Philly, a project that uses poetry as a foundation to promote wellness, mental health, and mental wellbeing across our city. Healing Verse Philly has three components which will roll out throughout 2021.
- Poetry Phone Line
- Writing Wellness workshops and readings
- Public poetry installations at neighborhood libraries
First up and waiting for your call, the Healing Verse Poetry Line offers everyone the opportunity to hear a new, affirming, and hopeful poem on a weekly basis. Poets from across the region will be featured throughout the year. Get your poetry fix every Monday by calling toll-free: 1-855-POEMRX2 (1-855-763-6792). Trapeta B. Mayson’s poem, "In This Season" is the first featured work. Call now to listen. Spread the word (poetry!) by sharing the free number with your friends and family.
Writing Wellness workshops and readings, led by the Poet Laureate, will take place virtually in the coming months. These guided sessions, structured around the Healing Verse theme of wellbeing, will help you launch or hone your poetry craft. They’ll be free and open to all skill levels. Keep an eye on freelibrary.org and healingversephilly.com for additional details to be announced soon.
Finally, Healing Verse is bringing poetry to our streets—literally! Lines from the Writing Wellness workshops will be featured in the unique Healing Verse Philly Rain Poetry Project at neighborhood libraries around the city. When it rains (or when the pavement is wet) poetry appears! This project will be created with a local artist. Check back soon to find out which libraries you should visit to see the words come to life.
Poetry is powerful, and the Free Library is committed to sharing its power with our fellow citizens. Check back soon for more events and programs with the Poet Laureate and Youth Poet Laureate. Join our popular, long-running Monday Poets Series. Or did you know you can visit the entire Greenwich Village living room of honored poet, Marianne Moore, at the Rosenbach? (While the museum is closed, you can peruse the Rosenbach’s digital archives of Moore’s work.) And of course, you can always check out tons of poetry books, ebooks, and audiobooks from the Free Library's collections.