Academy of American Poets Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of National Poetry Month, April 2016

New York, NY (January 26, 2016)—The Academy of American Poets—which founded and continues to organize National Poetry Month each year—is pleased to announce the following activities and initiatives for this coming April’s 20th anniversary celebration of poets and poetry. 

Official Hashtag and Logo

Follow the thousands of National Poetry Month celebrations taking place using #npm16. Schools, libraries, publishers, booksellers, reading coordinators, and poets are also invited to tweet their events to the Academy of American Poets @POETSorg.

The Academy of American Poets encourages use of the new National Poetry Month logo, which can be downloaded from Poets.org.

Official National Poetry Month Poster Designed by Debbie Millman

Debbie Millman has created this year’s official National Poetry Month poster, which features lines of poetry by some of our greatest poets. The poster is available for free through Poets.org while supplies last.

Each year, in partnership with American Booksellers Association, the American Library Association, and the National Council of Teachers of English, the organization distributes over 120,000 free National Poetry Month posters to classrooms, libraries, and bookstores throughout the United States.

Dear Poet 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. The Chancellors will 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 Common Core-aligned lesson plan that accompanies the videos.

Participating Chancellors include U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, Academy Fellowship recipient Jane Hirshfield, Frost Medal recipient Marilyn Nelson, National Book Award finalist Alicia Ostriker, Arizona Poet Laureate Alberto Ríos, and American Book Awards' Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Anne Waldman.

Students can mail their response letters to the Academy of American Poets or email them to [email protected] by April 30, 2016. Selected letters will receive a reply from the poet and will be featured on Poets.org.

Poetry & the Creative Mind on April 27, 2016, in New York City

On April 27, the Academy of American Poets will hold its annual Poetry & the Creative Mind celebration at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. The event celebrates poetry’s important place in our culture and its impact on the lives of readers, and features leading and legendary actors, dancers, artists, musicians, and public figures on one stage sharing their favorite poems. The always inspiring evening is a benefit, which raises funds to support the educational programs of the Academy of American Poets.

National Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 21, 2016

On National Poem in Your Pocket Day, people throughout the United States select a poem, carry it with them, and share it with others throughout the day. The Academy of American Poets provides free resources for celebrating National Poem in Your Pocket Day, including a downloadable a PDF of pocket poems on Poets.org.

Poem in Your Pocket Day was launched in 2002 by the New York City Office of the Mayor, in partnership with the New York City Departments of Cultural Affairs and Education. In 2008, the Academy of American Poets took the initiative national and today it is celebrated in schools, communities, and workplaces in all 50 states. People can also share their poem online using the official hashtag #pocketpoem.

Poets.org

Poets.org, the website of the Academy of American Poets, has many resources for celebrating National Poetry Month, including poetry listings throughout the United States and lesson plans for teachers who want to bring poetry into their classroom. Visit Poets.org for more about National Poetry Month initiatives across the United States.

About National Poetry Month

Established in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets, National Poetry Month is the largest literary celebration in the world. The goals of National Poetry Month are to highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets; to encourage the reading of poems; to assist teachers in bringing poetry into their classrooms; to increase the attention paid to poetry by national and local media; to encourage increased publication and distribution of poetry books; and to encourage philanthropic support for poets and poetry.

The following organizations helped make National Poetry Month 2016 possible: 826 National, The Washington Post, American Booksellers Association, American Library Association, Graywolf Press, National Council of Teachers of English, National Endowment for the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Random House, and Scholastic.

About the Academy of American Poets

The Academy of American Poets is the largest member-supported nonprofit organization fostering an appreciation for contemporary poetry and supporting American poets. The organization produces Poets.org, the world’s largest publicly-funded website for poets and poetry; National Poetry Month; American Poets magazine; and an annual series of poetry readings and special events. In addition, since its founding in 1934, the Academy of American Poets has awarded more money to poets than any other organization through its American Poets Prizes.

Contact: Emily Liebowitz, (212) 274-0343, ext. 22, [email protected]