New York, NY (February 22, 2024)—The Academy of American Poets, a leading champion of poets and poetry in the nation, is pleased to announce that Sheryl Woodruff has been named its new Director of Development. In this position, she will oversee all aspects of the organization’s fundraising, including major gifts, institutional giving, membership, annual appeals, special events, and government grants. 

Sheryl Woodruff is a nonprofit leader who has served humanities and community-based organizations in both programmatic and fundraising roles. Before joining the Academy of American Poets, Sheryl was the Deputy Director of the Washington Square Park Conservancy where she oversaw external affairs, including advancement and donor relations. Previously, she served with Village Preservation, the Paley Center for Media, and the Connecticut Historical Society. She has served on numerous nonprofit boards, including the Neighborhood Preservation Center, St. Mark’s Historic Landmark Fund, and the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition. She holds an MA in History from the University of Connecticut and a BA in English from Boston University.

“Poetry helps us connect and find common ground at a personal level,” said Woodruff. “I look forward to bringing passionate readers of all ages to our vibrant community and guiding essential resources to poets.” 

“This is a thrilling time for our organization and for poetry as we celebrate ninety years of serving as a home for the meaningful communion between poets and readers. With the announcement of our largest philanthropic award ever to support the work that civic poets and poetry organizations undertake across communities, as well as new partnerships to bolster K–12 education programs, we look forward to another ninety years of service to our growing communities. We are proud to have Sheryl join us in this significant leadership role. Her commitment to literature and the humanities, along with her fundraising expertise, make her an outstanding addition to the team,” said Ricardo Maldonado, President & Executive Director. 

About the Academy of American Poets

Celebrating its ninetieth anniversary in 2024, the Academy of American Poets is a leading publisher of contemporary poetry across the country. The organization annually awards $1.3+ million to more than two hundred poets at various stages of their careers through its prize program. It also produces, the world’s largest publicly funded website for poets and poetry; established and organizes National Poetry Month each April; publishes the Poem-a-Day series and American Poets magazine; provides free resources to educators; 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