New York, NY (March 26, 2019)—When the Academy of American Poets created and launched National Poetry Month in April 1996, we couldn’t have predicted that our signature program would inspire events in all fifty states, becoming the nation’s largest literary celebration. The annual initiative both introduces young readers to poetry and creates an opportunity for teachers, librarians, booksellers, publishers, poetry organizations, and poets themselves to showcase the importance of reading and supporting poetry year-round. Today, National Poetry Month remains one of the Academy of American Poets’ special contributions to the art of poetry in the United States, and we are pleased to announce the following activities, initiatives, and resources for this year’s celebration.
Official Online Information Hub
Poets.org is the official information hub for National Poetry Month. Here you will find many resources for celebrating National Poetry Month, including Poem-a-Day, a free daily series, which in April will feature poems selected by U. S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith; Poetry Near You, a national events calendar where you can promote your events and possibly be featured as a Poets.org Pick of the Week; lesson plans and tips for teachers who want to bring poetry into their classrooms; suggestions for librarians interested in creating displays of poetry books and programs; a list of 30 ways to celebrate National Poetry Month where you live; and weekly National Poetry Month Spotlights, a series featuring the creative and inspiring ways in which people are celebrating poets and poetry.
National Media Resource
Throughout the year and especially in April, the Academy of American Poets responds to media inquiries about poetry in the United States and American poets and reaches out to members of the media to encourage coverage of poets and poetry. Jennifer Benka, President & Executive Director of the Academy of American Poets, is available for interviews. Media interested in booking Jennifer can contact Michelle Campagna at: (212) 274-0343, ext. 22 or by writing [email protected].
Hashtag and Logo: #NationalPoetryMonth
Follow the thousands of National Poetry Month celebrations taking place using #NationalPoetryMonth. Schools, libraries, publishers, booksellers, reading coordinators, and poets are also invited to tweet their events to the Academy of American Poets @POETSorg so the organization might re-share as it’s able. To promote events, the Academy of American Poets invites and encourages use of the official National Poetry Month logo, which can be downloaded from Poets.org.
National Poetry Month Poster
For the first time ever, the National Poetry Month poster was designed by a student— Julia Wang from San Jose, California. The poster is available for free through Poets.org while supplies last and also as a downloadable PDF. In partnership with the American Booksellers Association, the American Library Association, and the National Council of Teachers of English, the Academy of American Poets will distribute over 100,000 National Poetry Month posters to classrooms, libraries, and bookstores throughout the United States.
Dear Poet: a K-12 Education Project
Dear Poet, the Academy of American Poets’ multimedia education project, invites students in grades 5-12 to write letters in response to poems shared by award-winning poets serving on the organization’s Board of Chancellors, including Elizabeth Alexander, Ellen Bass, Marilyn Chin, and Alberto Ríos. The Chancellors recite their poems in a series of exclusive videos presented on Poets.org. Teachers interested in offering Dear Poet as a classroom activity can visit Poets.org to access the free lesson plan that accompanies the videos. Students can mail their response letters to the Academy of American Poets or email them to [email protected] by April 30. Selected letters will receive a reply from the poet and will be featured on Poets.org in May.
Poetry & the Creative Mind: April 24, Lincoln Center, New York City
On April 24, the Academy of American Poets will hold its annual Poetry & the Creative Mind celebration at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall featuring a performance of poems by actors Ellen Burstyn and Josh Charles, journalist Ann Curry, musician Stephin Merritt, chef Daniel Rose, and more. The event celebrates poetry’s important place in our culture and its impact on the lives of readers and is a benefit, which raises funds to support the educational programs of the Academy of American Poets.
National Poetry Month Sponsors and Partners
The Academy of American Poets’ activities and programming are only possible with the support of National Poetry Month Sponsors and Partners, including 826 National, American Booksellers Association, American Library Association, Betsy South Beach Hotel, Bilingual Press, Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Graywolf Press, National Council of Teachers of English, National Endowment for the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York Public Library, New York State Council on the Arts, O, Miami, Penguin Random House, Inc., Scholastic Inc., Strand Books, WQXR, Barnes & Noble, ABRAMS, Andrews McMeel Publishing, Poets & Writers Inc., Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Penguin Books, W. W. Norton & Company, Poetry Foundation, and more.
About the Academy of American Poets
The Academy of American Poets is our nation's leading champion of poets, poetry, and the work of poetry organizations. The organization produces Poets.org, the world’s largest publicly-funded website for poets and poetry; National Poetry Month; the popular Poem-a-Day series; American Poets magazine; Teach This Poem and other resources for K-12 educators; an annual series of poetry readings and special events; and awards the American Poets Prizes. The organization also coordinates the work of a national Poetry Coalition working to promote the value poets bring to our culture and the important contribution poetry makes in the lives of people of all ages and backgrounds.