As part of “Imagine Your Parks,” a grant initiative from the National Endowment for the Arts and in partnership with national parks, the Academy of American Poets has commissioned 50 poets to write poems about 50 different national parks, one for every state. Each of the 50 poems will be published on—one of the top poetry sites in the world, with tens of millions of unique visitors per year—and a selection of those will be featured in the digital series Poem-a-Day, which reaches over 400,000 readers every day.

The Academy of American Poets is one of only two literary organizations receiving this special support (the other being Poets House), and the only arts project to involve artists in all 50 states. As the National Park Service noted on its website, “Poetry and national parks are inextricably linked. National parks across the country have inspired countless poets, and some poets have even had national parks created in their honor.”

“We’re thrilled to be able to provide 50 contemporary, working poets the opportunity to respond to nature and historic sites. Who better to sing the praises of our national parks than our national poets?” said Jennifer Benka, executive director of the Academy of American Poets.

The poems for this project will be released throughout the fall with the first one by Meg Day being published on September 29, 2016. Other contributing poets include Heid E. Erdrich writing on the North Country National Scenic Trail in North Dakota, Patricia Smith on Ellis Island, part of Statue of Liberty National Monument in New Jersey and New York, and Arthur Sze on the White Sands National Monument in New Mexico.

About the Academy of American Poets

The Academy of American Poets is the largest membership-based nonprofit organization fostering an appreciation for contemporary poetry and supporting American poets. The organization produces, the world’s largest publicly-funded website for poets and poetry; National Poetry Month; the popular Poem-a-Day series; American Poets magazine; Teach This Poem and other resources for K-12 educators; and an annual series of poetry readings and special events.

The Academy of American Poets is part of a national coalition working together to promote the value poets bring to our culture and the important contribution poetry makes in the lives of people of all ages and backgrounds.