New York, NY (January 15, 2019)—As the readership of poetry in the United States has nearly doubled in the past five years, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has made a $1 million grant to the Academy of American Poets to enable the work of the more than 20 founding members of a national Poetry Coalition over the next four years. 
Launched in 2016, the Poetry Coalition is a national alliance of poetry organizations in eleven cities that are dedicated to working together to promote the value poets bring to our culture. Together, last year the organizations reached more than 30 million readers. 
The founding members of the Poetry Coalition have been meeting annually to plan joint programming on a theme of social importance, which is offered each March. Programs range from publications to panels, readings, and other public events. 
The March 2019 theme is “What Is It, Then, Between Us?: Poetry & Democracy,” which invokes a line by Walt Whitman in anticipation of the upcoming 200th anniversary of the poet’s birth on May 31, 2019.  
The grant from the Mellon Foundation will support Poetry Coalition programming, as well as the creation of a pilot fellowship program that will place individuals in part-time, paid positions at select Poetry Coalition member organizations so they might learn about and assist with literary arts programming and administration. 
The founding members of the Poetry Coalition are: 
Beyond Baroque, Los Angeles, CA
CantoMundo, New York, NY
Cave Canem Foundation, Brooklyn, NY
Kundiman, New York, NY
Lambda Literary, Los Angeles, CA
Mass Poetry, Salem, MA
O, Miami, Miami, FL
The Poetry Center, San Francisco, CA
The Poetry Foundation, Chicago, IL 
Poets House, New York, NY
Split This Rock, Washington, D.C.
Urban Word/National Youth Poet Laureate Program, New York, NY & Los Angeles, CA
Woodland Pattern, Milwaukee, WI
Youth Speaks, San Francisco, CA
After its launch in 2016, the Poetry Coalition grew to include affiliate members: Brooklyn Poets in Brooklyn, NY; the Favorite Poem Project in Boston, MA; Get Lit in Los Angeles, CA; Just Buffalo Literary Center in Buffalo, NY; Poetry Slam, Inc. in Springfield, IL; Young Chicago Authors in Chicago, IL.
For more information about the Poetry Coalition’s history and membership, please visit:
About the Academy of American Poets  
The Academy of American Poets is the nation’s leading champion of poets, poetry, and the work of poetry organizations nationwide. Founded in 1934, 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 award-winning resources for K-12 educators; and an annual series of poetry readings and special events. In addition, the Academy of American Poets coordinates a national poetry 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.