Poems are pocket-sized powerhouses, packed not just with lyrical detonations, but also with nuanced insights and subtle subversions…so where better to carry them than in your pocket?

On April 21, 2016, Virginia Tech’s Creative Writing program is commemorating Poem in Your Pocket Day for the first time with a collection of poetry by the program’s faculty members and students.

Poem in Your Pocket Day encourages people to celebrate poetry by carrying a cherished poem throughout the day and sharing it with others—or by simply channeling their inner bard. The annual commemoration began in New York in 2002. Six years later, the Academy of American Poets took the initiative to all 50 states; this year the League of Canadian Poets expanded the program northward.

Erika Meitner, director of Virginia Tech’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and an associate professor in the Department of English, curated the Virginia Tech Poem in Your Pocket Day collection. What started as a simple call for entries soon became an overwhelming deluge of submissions.

“Poem in Your Pocket Day is one of my favorite days of the year, so I was thrilled that so many of our students wanted to share their poems virtually around campus,” said Meitner. “I hope the Virginia Tech community will print these poems out and share them throughout the rest of April, which is also National Poetry Month.”

Poets participating in the collection include five Department of English faculty members—Meitner, Ed FalcoNikki GiovanniJeff MannAileen Murphy, and Lucinda Roy. Student contributors from the MFA in Creative Writing program include Anuradha Bhowmik ’18, Matt Prater ’18, Molly Ryan ’17, Lisa Summe ’16, Mariana Sierra ’17, and Kaitlen Whitt ’17. Other participants include Jessica MacKenzie ’15, a graduate of the creative writing program; Thomas Meyer, a junior majoring in math and computational modeling and data analytics; and Baker Neenan, a freshman majoring in general engineering.

Creative writing is the most popular option for English majors at Virginia Tech, and Poets & Writers consistently ranks Virginia Tech’s MFA in Creative Writing program in the top 30 among 150 full-residency programs nationwide.

Consider sharing the Virginia Tech Poem in Your Pocket Day collection or your own poetry using the hashtag #pocketpoem.