npm_poster_2009_550From the Academy of American Poets e-newsletter this morning:


New York, February 3–The Academy of American Poets has unveiled the official poster for National Poetry Month 2009, designed by award-winning graphic designer and illustrator Paul Sahre.

The 2009 poster features a fogged window on which handwritten lines from T. S. Eliot’s poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”appear: “Do I dare disturb the universe?” The delicate scene beyond the window–a spring day bleared with rain and color–intensifies Eliot’s question.

For a full view of the poster, visit

Sahre was approached by the Academy to design the poster after his work–including illustrations for The New York Times and numerous book covers–was brought to the attention of Academy director Tree Swenson by esteemed designer Chip Kidd. Commenting on the poster, Swenson said, “In the shy inquiry drawn in window-pane fog, Paul Sahre subtly echoes what is at the heart of Prufrock’s ‘overwhelming question.’ While reflecting all the timidity in Eliot’s poem, Sahre’s poster finally reminds the viewer to be bold, to live large.”

Each year, the Academy, a nonprofit organization, asks a well-renowned designer to donate his or her design services to the poster project to help kick-start the National Poetry Month celebration. National Poetry Month was established by the Academy in 1996 to promote and celebrate the reading of poetry throughout the United States. Nearly 200,000 copies of Paul Sahre’s poster will be distributed free of charge to schools, libraries, independent bookstores, and individuals nationwide.

Previously, SpotCo, Christoph Niemann, Chip Kidd, design collective Number Seventeen, and Milton Glaser, among others, have participated. A gallery of recent posters can be viewed at

For a full view of the poster, or to request a free copy for your school, bookstore, library, or community center, visit

For the complete text of T. S. Eliot’s poem, visit

For more information about Paul Sahre, visit