Dear Poetry Lover,
I’m writing to invite you to participate in a poetry challenge recently launched by the Millay Society. As you know, we are the nonprofit group responsible for preserving the poet’s literary legacy and maintaining Steepletop, her former home and 200-acre property in Austerlitz, NY.
During these uncertain times, we are turning to Millay’s poems for solace and inspiration, buoyed by her keen wit and insight into the human condition. By sharing her work with others from our living rooms, kitchens, and other makeshift studios, our hope is to lift the spirits of friends and strangers alike with the equalizing power of poetry.
To that end, members of the Millay Board have recorded themselves reading or reciting a favorite Millay poem on our phones, iPads, or computers. We hope you’ll join us by accepting our invitation to choose a Millay poem and make a video yourself. For those who prefer music as a genre, we welcome musical renditions or accompaniments as well.
If you don’t have a Millay collection handy, you can find a good selection of her earlier work at these sites: The Poetry Foundation; Poets.org. If you’d like a larger collection to choose from, including her nearly 200 sonnets, you may wish to purchase the Kindle edition of her Collected Poems (for about $10)--EStVM Collected Poems or download it from the Apple book store. It’s fine if people decide to read or recite a poem that’s already been posted, as everyone’s interpretation is as different as the readers themselves.
Please be assured that this challenge is not a commercial project but instead an effort to spread cheer and comfort. Your video will be posted only on our website, YouTube channel, Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram.
When your video is ready to send, please fill out this form (Millay Poetry Challenge) with your name and any other information you’d like to see posted. If your video is 100 MB or less, you may upload it at the end of the form. If your file is larger than 100 MB and won’t upload, press SUBMIT at the end of the form anyway, and please send your video separately via Vimeo, Mail drop, Dropbox, WeTransfer, Hightail, or a similar file transfer website to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There’s no deadline for your submission, though we’d like to post as many as possible in the next several weeks.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at email@example.com at your convenience.
With thanks for your time, and all good wishes,
Edna St. Vincent Millay