The Favorite Poem Project

SAO's Colleen Quinn reads Shel Silverstein

“By reading poems we love aloud, we can learn how much pleasure there can be in the sounds of words,” says Robert Pinsky, a CAS professor and former U.S. poet laureate. “It’s as though saying the words of a poem aloud make one feel more able, more capable than in ordinary life. You enter a different state.”

Pinsky founded the Favorite Poem Project in 1997 during the first of an unprecedented three terms as poet laureate to encourage Americans to celebrate and explore their love of poetry. Since then, the project — now directed by BU poet Maggie Dietz (GRS’97) — has produced three anthologies and more than 1,000 readings around the country.

Every Friday, BU Today will feature a member of the BU community reading his or her favorite poem, and on Thursday, November 16, we’ll host our own Favorite Poem Reading at BU Central. Any student or faculty or staff member can participate.

If you’d like to read your favorite poem for BU Today, e-mail us at

Colleen Quinn, program coordinator in the Student Activities Office
“Sick” by Shel Silverstein
“Back in third grade I had to memorize a poem, and this poem, about a little girl making up excuses not to go to school, always makes me laugh.”


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The Favorite Poem Project