Put a little sonnet in your pants

In the madness of rush hour, pushing past so many anonymous bodies, wouldn’t it be nice to slow down and exchange some words with the people around you? But what would you say? How about something from Pablo Neruda: “I do not love you except because I love you” . . . And after you whisper those sweet lines, invite them to Bryant Park for Poem in Your Pocket Day, which features poets from Urban Word NYC, Cornell University, and New York University, among others. Part of National Poetry Month, Poem in Your Pocket Day—hosted by writer, composer, and director Elizabeth Swados—celebrates “the versatility and inspiration of poetry” by encouraging New Yorkers of all ages “to carry a poem . . . to share with friends, classmates, coworkers and family.” And anyone who arrives armed with their favorite poem will take home a free book of poetry. Now that’s poetic justice. At 11 a.m., Bryant Park, Sixth Avenue at 42nd Street, free ARACELI CRUZ



Russell Banks discusses his new novel

When Russell Banks‘s acclaimed novel Affliction, which later became a hit film, was published in 1989, the Voice called him a writer that “we, as readers and writers, can actually learn from, whose books help and urge us to change.” Nearly 20 years later, the talented Banks—who will discuss his craft tonight as a part of Hunter College’s Distinguished Writers Series—is still inspiring audiences with his gripping portraits of American life. His 2004 book, The Darling, about a former member of the Weather Underground, is currently being turned into a movie, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Cate Blanchett. At this event, Banks will read from his latest book, The Reserve, a romantic drama set at the height of the Great Depression. At 7:30, Hunter West Building, 695 Park Avenue, eighth floor, 212-772-4007, free ANGELA ASHMAN



From Miles Davis’s sensuous music for Louis Malle’s Elevator to the Scaffold to Alex North’s groundbreaking score for Elia Kazan’s A Streetcar Named Desire, MOMA’s newest series, Jazz Score, celebrates some of the best jazz composed for the cinema from the 1950s to the present. Featuring a fascinating retrospective on the most influential films, a gallery installation, live concerts, and a panel discussion, the whole shebang kicks off tonight with director Arthur Penn introducing his 1965 classic Mickey One, which boasts tenor saxonophonist Stan Getz and Eddie Sauter’s brilliant collaboration. Starts today, MOMA, 11 West 53rd Street, $6–$10 ANGELA ASHMAN