Brief Description of the Site:
Poet Laureate 2002 Billy Collins has started "Poem for A Day" in which he encourages students to read a poem every day of school (180 days of school are mandated, hence the name "Poetry 180"). While the site suggests reading (and writing) poems for high school students, this initiative has caught on throughout all grades, as it's never too early to read a poem. Collins provides an introduction, and a full compliment of 180 poems for teachers and students to read. Collins wants to make poetry a priority and what better way than to provide the resources to site visitors. The Library of Congress is an enormous resource so just using www.loc.gov isn't enough. Visitors are invited to sign or simply view the guestbook, arranged by state. A list of poems, poets, and "info" providing the citation of each work allow those who find a favorite to pursue location the book in the library or bookstore.
Louise Gluck becomes the new poet laureate on Oct. 21, 2003 succeeding Billy Collins.
How to use the site:
Instead of simply recommending that educators read poems to their students, this site provides a poem a day by listing the poem and the publication where you can find the poem. Collins gives tips on how to read a poem and the site links to a poetry resource in the "Poetry and Literature Center" (at the top of the Poetry 180 home page). There one can find an archive of recorded poetry and literature (often in the poet's own voice), poetry webcasts, poetry competitions, and perhaps most important to the aspiring poet in every class, a link for submissions. There's a "Poetry at Noon" series that invites poets to apply to read their poems during the 2003-2004 academic year. The new addition to this site (which is fairly new in itself) is the addition of "Poet Vision Videos" and "Poet and Poems Audios". See or hear poets Allen Ginsberg, Billy Collins, Louise Gluck or drop in online for a poetry cybercast. Poet Laureate Billy Collins hopes for Poetry 180, but he'd be delighted to extend it to the 365 days of every year.