Arts and Entertainment

Pennsylvania poetry on display in Paterno Library

The University Libraries are celebrating the success of the Public Poetry Project by displaying posters of poems from various years in the corridors of fifth floor Paterno Library. The Public Poetry Project aims to make poetry more accessible in the daily lives of Pennsylvanians by placing poems in public places, including university, school and public libraries, bookstores, restaurants and dormitories.

The project is organized by the Pennsylvania Center for the Book, located in the University Libraries, and is led by its director, Steven Herb, who is head of the Education and Behavioral Sciences Library. Since its inception in 1999, poems by 49 local poets have appeared as part of the poster series designed by Gretl Collins, Tom Worth, Marla Jaksch, Erik Brandt and Wilson Hutton. This exhibit contains 26 of those poems from seven years designed by Worth, Jaksch, and Hutton, who has designed the posters since 2005.

This exhibit celebrates Pennsylvania through the eyes of its poets. A jury of poets many of whom have had their work appear previously in the series chooses poems for the project. Each March, the Libraries host a reading celebrating the new release of the project’s poster series. Poets featured on that year’s posters read their work, sign books, and take questions from attendees.

The Pennsylvania Center for the Book at Penn State was approved by the Library of Congress to begin operation on Jan. 1, 2000, joining 41 (now 50) other state centers for the book in the United States. An Act of Congress established Daniel Boorstin’s idea for the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress on Oct. 13, 1977, to serve as a focal point for celebrating the legacy of books and the printed word. Sponsored in Pennsylvania by the University Libraries, the mission of the Pennsylvania Center for the Book is to study, honor, celebrate, and promote books, reading, libraries, and literacy to residents of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The Public Poetry Project is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Center for the Book, with additional support from Library Learning Services and Public Relations and Marketing in the University Libraries, the Department of English in the College of the Liberal Arts, and William Brockman, the Paterno Family Librarian for Literature.

For more information on the project, call 814-863-5472

Last Updated November 11, 2010