Mayor de Blasio Wants Your (Concise and Family-Friendly) Poems!


Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Office of Cultural Affairs are asking us to take to Twitter in honor of National Poetry Month.

Using the hashtag #PoetweetNYC, anyone can submit a poem between now and April 13 (the contest actually began on Monday) and the winning entries will be published in Metro New York on April 30 — otherwise known as Poem in Your Pocket Day. That’s the day all New Yorkers are required to carry a poem on their person at all times or be subject to a $350 summons. OK, not really — you’ll just be kind of a killjoy if you don’t. The basic rules for the contest are simple: The poems must be under 140 characters, submitted by an American who is an adult, and keep ’em clean, people. The full rules, because this is a government-sponsored activity, are extensive and are detailed here.

The city started promoting the event on Twitter last week.

It was a slow start, but the #poetweets are coming faster by the minute. By Monday evening there was quite a selection.

They ranged from gentle meditations on city life —

— to somewhat more pissed-off meditations on city life —

— to the lyrical —

— to the devastatingly eloquent (we don’t think this use of the word “motherfucking” is allowed under the contest’s vulgarity clause):

To enter your own Poetweet, just add the hashtag (#PoetweetNYC) and send it out to the interwebs. The city has some other events in store for poetry month too.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 7, 2015

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