On the unofficial birthday of William Shakespeare, who was born in 1564, fans gathered to celebrate the world's most famous bard. 

The 9th annual 'Shakespeare’s Birthday Sonnet Slam' took place this afternoon at Riverside Church in Morningside Heights.  A devoted crowd gathered to watch all 154 of Shakespeare's Sonets performed in numerical order by people of all ages. One participant says there's a reason the playwright and actor is widely regarded as the "greatest writer in the English language."

Erika Amato says "the language is so evocative. It's the most beautiful poetry I think that exists. That's why we're still doing it 400 years later."

The free event lasted about 3 hours  and past Sonnet Slams have featured Broadway and film stars as well notable writers, poets and educators from around the globe.