F218. Building Communities Through Poetry: A Celebration of America's Favorite Poem Project

Room 608, Washington State Convention Center, Level 6
Friday, February 28, 2014
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm


In 1997, Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky started the Favorite Poem Project, dedicated to celebrating, documenting, and encouraging poetry's role in Americans' lives. During the call for submissions, 18,000 Americans of varying ages, backgrounds, and occupations wrote in about their favorite poems. This panel explores how the Project has contributed to building communities through poetry via anthologies, an expanding video archive, a teaching institute, and innovative events all over the nation.



Maggie Dietz is author of Perennial Fall, which won New Hampshire’s Jane Kenyon Award, and former director of the Favorite Poem Project. Her awards include fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center and the NH State Council on the Arts. She teaches at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Chris Higashi directs Seattle Reads, literary events, Washington State book awards, and a weekly poetry group for Washington Center for the Book/Seattle Public Library. She co-directed Seattle's Favorite Poems. A former board member of Copper Canyon Press, she now serves on the KUOW Public Radio board.

Robert Pinsky founded the Favorite Poem Project during the first of his three terms as United States Poet Laureate. His recent publications are his Selected Poems and PoemJazz, a CD with pianist Laurence Hobgood. He teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Boston University.

Tree Swenson is executive director of Richard Hugo House in Seattle. She was previously executive director of the Academy of American Poets. A former AWP board president, her work in the literary arts began with co-founding Copper Canyon Press, where she was the publisher and director for twenty years.


March 8–11, 2023
Seattle, Washington

Washington State Convention Center