New York, NY (March 11, 2014) The Academy of American Poets—the now 80 year-old organization that founded National Poetry Month in 1996— is offering the following activities and initiatives for this coming April’s celebration of poetry.
A new multimedia education project, Poet-to-Poet invites young people throughout the United States to write and submit poems in response to those shared by award-winning poets who serve on the Academy’s Board of Chancellors. Poet Laureate of California Juan Felipe Herrera, National Book Critics Circle Award-winner Edward Hirsch, NEA and Guggenheim Fellow Jane Hirshfield, Lannan Foundation Fellow Naomi Shihab Nye, Pulitzer Prize-nominee Ron Padgett, Jackson Poetry Prize-winner Arthur Sze, and Naropa Institute Co-Founder (with Allen Ginsberg) Anne Waldman will each read and discuss one of their poems in a series of exclusive videos presented on the Academy’s website, Poets.org.
After viewing the videos, students are invited to write poems in response and email them, along with their name and the name of the poet who inspired their poem, to [email protected] by April 30, 2014. A selection of submitted student poems will be published on Poets.org in May.
Teachers interested in offering the Poet-to-Poet project as a classroom activity can download a free Common Core aligned lesson plan by visiting Poets.org.
In honor of the Academy of American Poets’ 80th anniversary this year, the award-winning artist Chip Kidd created a Walt Whitman inspired poster for National Poetry Month that is available for free while supplies last.
Each year, in partnership with American Booksellers Association, the American Library Association, and the National Council of Teachers of English, the Academy distributes over 100,000 free National Poetry Month posters to classrooms, libraries, and bookstores throughout the United States.
On 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 provides free resources for celebrating Poem in Your Pocket Day, including downloadable pocket poem pdfs.
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.
Also on April 24, the Academy will hold its annual Poetry & the Creative Mind celebration at Lincoln Center featuring Meryl Streep, Tina Fey, Patrick Stewart, Julianna Margulies, Esperanza Spalding, Billy Crudup, Chip Kidd, Carrie Mae Weems, Parker Posey, Kevin Kline, Rosie Perez, Drew Nieporent, National Student Poet Michaela Coplen, and others. In celebration of the Academy of American Poets 80th anniversary, this year’s Poetry & the Creative Mind presenters will share American poems written during the past 80 years. Poetry & the Creative Mind raises critical funds for the Academy’s education programs, including National Poetry Month. For information about tickets, please visit lincolncenter.org.
The Academy’s website, Poets.org, has many resources for celebrating National Poetry Month, including a National Poetry Calendar, where event planners throughout the United States can share information about their poetry events. This April, the Academy will also unveil a newly redesigned Poets.org as part of the organization’s 80th anniversary celebration.
Visit Poets.org for more information about all of the Academy’s National Poetry Month initiatives.
About the Academy of American Poets
Now in its 80th year, the Academy of American Poets is the largest membership-based nonprofit organization fostering an appreciation for contemporary poetry and supporting American poets. The Academy connects millions of people to great poetry through programs such as National Poetry Month, the largest literary celebration in the world; Poets.org, the Academy’s popular website; American Poet, a biannual literary journal; and an annual series of poetry readings and special events. In addition, since its founding in 1934, the Academy has awarded more money to poets than any other organization.
National Poetry Month Partners and Sponsors
The following organizations helped make National Poetry Month 2014 possible: 826 National, Alfred A. Knopf, American Booksellers Association, American Library Association, American Poetry Review, Ashland Poetry Press, BOA Editions, Bright Hill Press, CavanKerry Press, City Lights Publishers, Coffee House Press, Columbia University Press, Copper Canyon Press, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Graywolf Press, Hanging Loose Press, HarperCollins, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Louisiana State University Press, Milkweed Editions, Modern Language Association, National Council of Teachers of English, National Endowment for the Arts, New Directions, Penguin Books, Persea Books, Poetry Foundation, Random House, Robinson Jeffers Tor House Foundation, Sarabande Books, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, Stadler Center for Poetry, T. S. Poetry Press, University of California Press, University of Pittsburgh Press, W. W. Norton & Company, Wake Forest University Press, Wesleyan University Press, and Yale University Press.