Cooper-Siegel staff distributing 1,000 ‘Poems in Your Pocket’ | TribLIVE.com
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Tawnya Panizzi

Jonay Gurley of Penn Hills was out and about at Fox Chapel Plaza in O’Hara on April 25 when someone happily surprised her with a tiny gift.

Staffers from Cooper-Siegel Library hit the plaza sidewalk to celebrate “Poem in your Pocket Day” and distributed 1,000 mini verses rolled up in ribbon-tied scrolls.

The national celebration was founded in 2002 by the Office of the Mayor in New York City, in partnership with the city’s Departments of Cultural Affairs and Education. In 2008, the Academy of American Poets took the initiative to all fifty states, Library Executive Director Jill McConnell said.

The effort is meant to encourage people to spend time reading, sharing or being inspired by poetry.

McConnell and other library staff greeted passersby from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and despite the rainy weather, they had success in distributing many of the poems at the plaza along Fox Chapel and Freeport roads.

McConnell said celebrating the event was a natural step for her staff because it fits perfectly with the library’s mission of cultivating a community of lifelong learners.

The library is at 403 Fox Chapel Road, Fox Chapel.

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