New York, NY (January 4, 2024)—For the second year in a row, the Academy of American Poets, a leading publisher of contemporary poetry and funder of poets in the United States, teams up with Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, to reveal the National Poetry Month poster in celebration of the active role poetry plays in young people’s education. The 2024 poster features artwork by award-winning children’s author and illustrator Jack Wong, and lines from “blessing the boats” by beloved poet Lucille Clifton.
The official poster will be distributed free-of-charge to 85,000+ classrooms, libraries, bookstores, community centers, and homes in time for the April 2024 occasion of National Poetry Month, the largest literary celebration in the world with tens of millions of readers, students, teachers, librarians, booksellers, event presenters, publishers, and poets marking poetry’s relevance in our lives. A free lesson plan featuring the poster and Clifton’s “blessing the boats” will also be available at Poets.org/materials-teachers by mid-January.
“Free access to literature matters,” said Ricardo Maldonado, Academy President and Executive Director. “We are thrilled to partner with Scholastic in offering this free resource that invites educators, students, and readers of all ages to reflect on how poetry makes us examine our lives and memories more deeply, as well as our relationships with—and our responsibilities to—one another and our communities.”
“Year after year, poetry is the top category among teen writers submitting to the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and their work is inspiring. The importance of this artform to young people cannot be overstated as it resonates with them, provides an outlet, and broadens perspectives,” said Billy DiMichele, Scholastic Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility. “By partnering with the Academy of American Poets, we are eager to continue expanding awareness of the importance of writing and reading poetry.”
The official poster will also be distributed to booksellers, librarians, and teachers through other partners including the American Booksellers Association (ABA), the American Library Association (ALA), and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).
About Lucille Clifton and Jack Wong
Lucille Clifton was the author of several prize-winning collections, including Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems 1988–2000, the winner of the National Book Award, and served as Poet Laureate for the State of Maryland from 1979 to 1985, Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 1999 to 2004, and Distinguished Professor of Humanities at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.
Jack Wong’s When You Can Swim (Orchard Books/Scholastic, 2023) received the 2023 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award and the Governor General’s Literary Award in Young People's Literature – Illustrated Books. His other books include The Words We Share (Annick Press, 2023), currently a nominee for the Ontario Library Association’s Blue Spruce Award, as well as the forthcoming titles All That Grows (Groundwood Books, 2024) and a picture book biography of the acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma with author James Howe (Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2025).
About the Academy of American Poets and Scholastic
Founded in 1934, the Academy of American Poets is the United States’ leading champion of poets and poetry with supporters in all fifty states and beyond. The organization annually awards $1.3+ million to more than two hundred poets at various stages of their careers through its prize program, which includes the Poet Laureate Fellowships. The organization also produces Poets.org, the world’s largest publicly funded website for poets and poetry; publishes the popular Poem-a-Day series and American Poets magazine; provides free resources to K–12 educators, including the award-winning Teach This Poem series; hosts an annual series of poetry readings and special events; and coordinates a national Poetry Coalition that promotes the value poets bring to our culture. To learn more about the Academy of American Poets, including its staff, its Board of Directors, and its Board of Chancellors, visit Poets.org.
For more than 100 years, Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) has been encouraging the personal and intellectual growth of all children, beginning with literacy. Having earned a reputation as a trusted partner to educators and families, Scholastic is the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books, a leading provider of literacy curriculum, professional services, and classroom magazines, and a producer of educational and entertaining children's media. The Company creates and distributes bestselling books and e-books, print and technology-based learning programs for pre-K to grade 12, and other products and services that support children's learning and literacy, both in school and at home. With international operations and exports in more than 135 countries, Scholastic makes quality, affordable books available to all children around the world through school-based book clubs and book fairs, classroom libraries, school and public libraries, retail, and online. Learn more at www.scholastic.com.