Marian Bantjes Designs National Poetry Month Poster

National Poetry Month isn’t until April (T.S. Eliot would have it no other way), so there’s still plenty of time to polish up those villanelles in your drawer. In the meantime, we present a sneak preview of the 2010 National Poetry Month poster, designed (pro bono) by Marian Bantjes. The poster features kaleidoscopic figures turning beneath a star-filled sky—a scene inspired by the poetry of Wallace Stevens. Hand-lettered lines from his poem, “Final Soliloquy of the Interior Paramour,” curve across the poster. Click here to download a PDF version from the Academy of American Poets, which distributes the poster (gratis) to teachers, librarians, and booksellers nationwide.

How did Bantjes find time for this bit of visual poetry amidst her oodles of other projects, including last week’s TED Conference talk? “I do sometimes find myself thinking that I am spending ‘too much time’ on a project, but ultimately I have to say ‘who is it for, what does it say, and what does it do?'” said Bantjes. “And in this case: a project which is printed in a quantity of 200,000 and distributed throughout schools and organizations to promote poetry to children and the populace in general, well that is a project worthy of my time. Far more worthy, in fact, than most other things I can think of.” Her work was initially brought to the attention of American Academy of Poets by Chip Kidd, who designed the 2005 National Poetry Month Poster, featuring the disembodied dress of Emily Dickinson.