New York, NY (January 27, 2022)— The Academy of American Poets, the originator of National Poetry Month—now a worldwide celebration—invites students in grades five through twelve to participate in Dear Poet 2022, an annual multimedia education project featuring videos of award-winning poets reading their work, including poets who serve on the Academy of American Poets Board of Chancellors and who have received Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowships. Students are encouraged to watch the 26 newly-released Dear Poet videos, write letters in response to the poems, and submit their letters during National Poetry Month this April. Selected letters will be published on Poets.org, one of the most visited sites for poetry on the web, and shared on social media. Each year, the Dear Poet videos are viewed by tens of thousands of students across the country and more than 3,600 students from 35 states participate by sending in letters.
The 26 award-winning poets participating in Dear Poet this year include Academy of American Poets Chancellors Ellen Bass, Marilyn Chin, Kwame Dawes, Forrest Gander, Marie Howe, Dorianne Laux, David St. John, as well as Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellows Marcus Amaker, Semaj Brown, Aileen Cassinetto, Leslie Contreras Schwartz, Magdalena Gómez, Georgina Marie Guardado, Chasity Gunn, Kari Gunter-Seymour, Luisa A. Igloria, Dasha Kelly Hamilton, Melissa Kwasny, Debra Marquart, Trapeta B. Mayson, Anis Mojgani, Chelsea Rathburn, Lloyd Schwartz, M. Bartley Seigel, M.L. Smoker, and Brian Sonia-Wallace.
“As many students process their lives in our complicated time, The Dear Poet project is a great opportunity for them to interact with contemporary poems and poets who are confronting the same issues through their writing. Dear Poet provides students with an opportunity to learn about some of the leading poets writing today, to read their poems and respond by writing letters to the poets. Selected students will even receive a personal response from their poet!” said Dr. Madeleine Fuchs Holzer, the Academy of American Poets Educator in Residence.
To learn more about Dear Poet 2022 and to participate in the project, visit: www.poets.org/dear-poet.
An accompanying lesson plan will be available on the Dear Poet 2022 page in mid-February.
For additional resources to assist with the project, visit the Dear Poet 2021 lesson plan; read an essay about Dear Poet; check out one high school’s past participation in the project; and browse this Dear Poet teacher collaboration featuring video walk-throughs, writing prompts, and a short assignment. For some examples of student letters, visit last year’s Dear Poet page.
About the Academy of American Poets
Founded in 1934, the Academy of American Poets is the nation’s leading champion of poets and poetry with supporters in all fifty states. The organization annually awards more funds to individual poets than any other organization through its prize program, giving a total of $1.25 million to more than 200 poets at various stages of their careers. The organization also produces Poets.org, the world’s largest publicly funded website for poets and poetry; organizes National Poetry Month; publishes the popular Poem-a-Day series and American Poets magazine; provides award-winning resources to K–12 educators, including the Teach This Poem series; hosts an annual series of poetry readings and special events; and coordinates a national Poetry Coalition working together to promote the value poets bring to our culture.