New York, NY (January 11, 2024)—The Academy of American Poets, the creator of National Poetry Month and Teach This Poem, an award-winning K–12 education program providing 40,000 teachers with free resources, presents Dear Poet 2024 in collaboration with 826 National, the largest youth writing network in the country.
Dear Poet, an annual multimedia project launched by the Academy in 2015 as part of National Poetry Month, invites students in grades five through twelve to write letters in response to poems written and read by award-winning poets, including Academy Chancellors, an honorary group of esteemed poets who serve as artistic advisors to the Academy and as ambassadors of poetry to the nation at large.
2024 poets include Leila Chatti, Chen Chen, Nicole Cecilia Delgado, John James, and Mara Pastor, as well as Academy Chancellors Marilyn Chin, Nikky Finney, Ed Roberson, and Patricia Smith. For the first time in its nine year history, Dear Poet will include a series of poems in both English and Spanish, encouraging participation by bilingual readers.
Participating students across the nation, many of them young writers in 826’s national network of workshops, send questions about inspiration and the process of writing a poem; poets read a selection of letters and respond. A booklet containing the poems read by the Dear Poet 2024 poets, followed by student letters and poet responses, will be published on Poets.org and 826national.org in June 2024.
“Poetry pushes us to be brave when sharing our own stories,” said Ricardo Maldonado, President & Executive Director of the Academy of American Poets. “We’re thrilled to be teaming up with 826 National to bring students a chance to correspond with living poets and ask questions about how poems speak to experiences of our many communities and the world we live in. We’re grateful to all the teachers who use the program and for each and every student letter we receive.”
“At 826, we think a lot about the question of who gets to learn to write in this country,” said Laura Brief, CEO of 826 National. “We also think about what impact the answer to that question has on the personal, academic, and professional trajectories of lives, and of our communities. We know the transformative power and possibility of writing, and certainly of poetry. Partnering with the Academy of American Poets, we're excited to support the dialogue between young writers and distinguished poets in classrooms nationwide, and to champion teachers and the words of their students in the process.”
Dear Poet 2024, which is made possible in part by the generous support of Penguin Random House, is accepting submissions beginning today, January 11, through April 22, 2024. To participate, visit: https://poets.org/national-poetry-month/dear-poet-2024. Supplementary teaching prompts from 826 National are now available on 826 Digital at 826digital.com/resources/exploring-voice and 826digital.com/resources/exploring-connections.
About 826 National and the Academy of American Poets
826 is the largest youth writing network in the country, and works to ensure every student is able to access the power and joy of writing. 826 National amplifies the impact of our national network of writing and publishing centers, provides field-tested educator resources, publishes current research to create a more equitable—and creative—future, and the voices of youth writers everywhere. We serve as an international proof point for writing as a tool for young people to ignite and channel their creativity, explore identity, advocate for themselves and their community, and achieve academic and professional success.
The 826 Network serves over 710,000 students, ages 6 to 18, online at 826 Digital and in person across our nine chapters: 826 Boston, 826CHI, 826DC, 826LA, 826michigan, 826 MSP, 826 New Orleans, 826NYC, and 826 Valencia. This work is possible thanks to the support of over 2,000 volunteers. In addition, there are over fifty organizations around the world inspired by the 826 model. Together, we believe writing is the key to cultivating a new generation of creative and diverse thinkers who will define a better, brighter, and more compassionate future. Join the 826 movement at 826national.org.
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 Poets.org, 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: https://poets.org.