New York, NY (April 27, 2022)— As the 26th annual National Poetry Month comes to a close, the Academy of American Poets reports that in the last year, 18,015,092 individuals worldwide read poems on its website, Poets.org. Poets.org also experienced a 10% increase in overall traffic compared to the same time frame before the pandemic.
“That so many millions of individuals have been reading poems speaks to the increasingly important role of poetry and literature in American culture and in the lives of readers, especially now. It’s in poems that we make meaning of our experiences and envision new ways forward,” said Jennifer Benka, President & Executive Director of the Academy of American Poets.
Based on Poets.org analytics, the top ten metro areas in the United States with the most poetry readers last year, in order, were:
New York, NY
Los Angeles, CA
San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA
Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX
This list reflects the geographic diversity of poetry readership in the U.S.
Consistent with the Academy of American Poets’ mission to celebrate contemporary poets as well as being a keeper of the history of American poetry, the organization has curated a list of fifteen poems from the top contemporary and classic poems that readers might want to spend time with this National Poetry Month and beyond:
“Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou
“I'm Nobody! Who are you? (260)” by Emily Dickinson
“Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost
“Ego Tripping (there may be a reason why)” by Nikki Giovanni
“In This Place (An American Lyric)” by Amanda Gorman
“American History” by Michael S. Harper
“Remember” by Joy Harjo
“We Should Make a Documentary About Spades” by Terrance Hayes
“Let America Be America Again” by Langston Hughes
“Instructions on Not Giving Up” by Ada Limón
“A Brief History of Hostility” by Jamaal May
“Kindness” by Naomi Shihab Nye
“This Is Not a Small Voice” by Sonia Sanchez
“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? (Sonnet 18)” by William Shakespeare
“Do not go gentle into that good night” by Dylan Thomas
About National Poetry Month
National Poetry Month was inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996 and takes place each April. Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, community centers, and poets honoring poetry's vital place in our culture. The special month of programs is made possible by more than 60 poetry partners and sponsors, as well as the National Endowment for the Arts. For 30 ways to celebrate and other resources, visit: poets.org/npm.
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; established and organizes National Poetry Month each April; 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 to promote the value poets bring to our culture.