The Poetry Coalition is a national alliance of more than 25 organizations dedicated to 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. Members are nonprofit organizations whose primary mission is to promote poets and poetry, and/or multi-genre literary organizations that serve poets in the disability community and of specific racial, ethnic, or gender identities, backgrounds, or communities. All members present poets at live events. (Founding members are denoted with an asterisk.)
Each March, members present programming across the country on a theme of social importance, which has included poetry & migration, poetry & the body, poetry & democracy, and poetry & protest. Programs range from publications to panels, readings, and other public events.
In May 2020, the Poetry Coalition launched the Poetry Coalition Fellowship program, a three-year pilot program that will offer paid fellowship positions to five fellows per year (a total of fifteen fellows) who will each assist a different Poetry Coalition organization for twenty hours per week over the course of a forty-week period. The five organizations hosting the inaugural Poetry Coalition Fellows beginning September 2020 are CantoMundo, Cave Canem, Kundiman, Mizna, and Split This Rock.
On August 18, 2020, the founding members of the Poetry Coalition presented a live broadcast of One Poem: A Protest Reading in Support of Black Lives. In this first-ever nationwide reading curated by the coalition, a poet invited by each founding member organization shared a poem in support of Black lives. Readers included Kazim Ali, Kimberly Blaeser, Jericho Brown, Kwame Dawes, Tongo Eisen-Martin, Safia Elhillo, Martín Espada, Sesshu Foster, Alberto Ríos, Monica Youn, and more.
The Academy of American Poets is the administrative and fiscal coordinator of the Poetry Coalition and we are grateful to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their support of this work. For more information please contact [email protected] and follow along on social media at #PoetryCoalition.
The Academy of American Poets, the nation's largest membership-based literary organization, was founded in 1934 to support American poets at all stages of their careers and to foster the appreciation of contemporary poetry. Home to poets.org, one of the most visited websites for poetry, the Academy is also responsible for Poem-a-Day, National Poetry Month, and an array of programs and educational resources.*
The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers presents the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and National Student Poets Program. The National Student Poets Program is a signature initiative which reflects the national imprimatur of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in advancing arts education, links the National Student Poets with audiences and resources through the Institute of Museum and Library Services' network of libraries and museums, and builds upon the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers' longstanding work with educators and creative teens through the prestigious Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the largest scholarship and recognition program for creative youth. The program works in coordination with the Library of Congress and the U.S. Department of Education.*
Established in 1991, AAWW is a national not-for-profit arts organization devoted to the creating, publishing, developing and disseminating of creative writing by Asian Americans. AAWW is building the Asian literary culture of tomorrow through our curatorial platform, which includes our New York events series and our online editorial initiatives.*
Beyond Baroque is one of the United States' leading independent Literary / Arts Centers and public spaces dedicated to expanding the public's knowledge of poetry, literature and art through cultural events and community interaction. Founded in 1968, Beyond Baroque offers a diverse variety of literary and arts programming including readings, workshops, new music and education.*
Since their inception in 2012, Brooklyn Poets' core program of small, intensive poetry workshops taught by award-winning poets in their own homes has served over 500 students and employed over 30 teachers. The organization has grown to host 22 events per year attracting over 1400 attendees annually, fostering a more close-knit, homegrown, diverse community of poets and readers than what is seen traditionally offered by graduate writing programs and the American literary community at large. Their community extends through The Bridge, a unique online network connecting poets and mentors throughout the world.
CantoMundo supports the creation, circulation, and critical analysis of Latina/o poetry. CantoMundo cultivates a community of Latina/o poets through an annual writing retreat, regional workshops, public readings, and the CantoMundo Poetry Prize, an annual book contest that publishes and promotes a poetry volume by a Latina/o writer.*
Cave Canem is a home for the many voices of African American poetry and is committed to cultivating the artistic and professional growth of African American poets. Programs include an annual writing retreat, three book prizes, poetry workshops, readings, and lectures.*
The Favorite Poem Project is dedicated to celebrating, documenting and encouraging poetry’s role in Americans’ lives, as well as to strengthening communities through the art of poetry. To these ends, he Favorite Poem Project has developed successful programs for libraries, communities and schools. Robert Pinsky, the 39th Poet Laureate of the United States, founded the Favorite Poem Project shortly after the Library of Congress appointed him to the post in 1997.
The Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Program produces the biennial Dodge Poetry Festival, which features several dozen of our most widely recognized poets alongside newer voices, and is recognized as the largest poetry event in North America. The Festival and the Poetry Program's year-round activities focus on creating opportunities for the general public, teachers and high school students to experience direct encounters with living poets and their work.*
Get Lit is a literary and performing arts organization that fuses classic and spoken word poetry to increase teen literacy and cultivate enthusiastic learners emboldened to inspire social consciousness in diverse communities. Their curriculum is utilized in over 100 schools across Southern California, and their young artists have written and performed for the White House, the Kennedy Center, and more.
In-Na-Po, Indigenous Nations' Poets, is a community committed to mentoring emerging writers, cultivating Indigenous literatures and poetics, supporting tribal languages and sovereignty, and raising the visibility of all Native writers.*
Just Buffalo Literary Center’s mission is to create and strengthen communities through the literary arts. They believe in the love of reading, the art of writing, and the power of the literary arts to transform individual lives and communities. And for more than 40 years, Just Buffalo Literary Center has brought the world’s greatest writers to Buffalo, hosted poetry events and readings, and supported the development of young writers.
Kundiman is dedicated to the creation and cultivation of Asian American literature. Kundiman offers a comprehensive spectrum of arts programming that gives writers opportunities to inscribe their own stories, transforming and enriching the American literary landscape. Kundiman sees literature not only as vehicle for cultural expression but also as an instrument for political dialogue and self-empowerment.*
Lambda Literary believes Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer literature is fundamental to the preservation of our culture, and that LGBTQ lives are affirmed when our stories are written, published, and read.*
Letras Latinas, the literary initiative at the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies, enhances the visibility, appreciation, and study of Latino literature both on and off the Notre Dame campus. The initiative emphasizes programs that support newer voices, including two national poetry book prizes, projects that spur collaboration across disciplines, Letras Latinas Blog, and a copublishing venture with Noemi Press to support innovative Latino poets and writers.*
Mass Poetry supports poets and poetry in Massachusetts and helps to broaden the audience of poetry readers, bringing poetry to readers of all ages and transforming people’s lives through inspiring verse. The organization is responsible for several programs, including the Massachusetts Poetry Festival, Student Day of Poetry, and the placement of poems on Boston's public transportation.*
Mizna is a critical platform for contemporary literature, art, film, and cultural programming centering the work of Southwest Asian and North African artists. For twenty years, Mizna has sought to reflect the depth and multiplicity of the communities it serves and has been committed to being a space for Arab, Muslim, and other artists from the region to reclaim narratives and engage audiences in meaningful and artistically excellent art. It publishes Mizna: Prose, Poetry and Art Exploring Arab America, the only Arab American literary and art journal in the country; produces the annual Twin Cities Arab Film Festival; and offers classes, readings, performances, public art, and community events.*
O, Miami is an annual festival with the goal of every single person in Miami-Dade County encountering a poem during the month of April. Throughout the year, O, Miami increases access to literature and explores how and why literature impacts the lives of people in Miami.*
Founded in 1954 on the basis of a small donation by W. H. Auden, the Poetry Center at San Francisco State University is one of the most long-lived and nationally renowned literary arts institutions in the United States. With its companion project, the American Poetry Archives, the center has amassed nearly 5,000 hours of original recordings of poets and writers reading from their work.*
Established in 2003 upon receipt of a gift from the philanthropist Ruth Lilly, the Poetry Foundation, which evolved from the Modern Poetry Association, is focused on expanding and enhancing the presence of poetry in America. The Poetry Foundation's programs include Poetry magazine, a series of live readings and events, and an award-winning website.*
Through its live programming, workshops, publications, website, and special events, The Poetry Project promotes, fosters, and inspires the reading and writing of contemporary poetry by presenting contemporary poetry to diverse audiences; increasing public recognition, awareness, and appreciation of poetry and other arts; providing a community setting in which poets and artists can exchange ideas and information; and encouraging the participation and development of new poets from a broad range of styles.*
The Poetry Society of America, the nation's oldest poetry organization, was founded in 1910. Its mission is to build a larger and more diverse audience for poetry, to encourage a deeper appreciation of the vitality and breadth of poetry in the cultural conversation, to support poets through an array of programs and awards, and to place poetry at the crossroads of American life.*
Located in New York City, Poets House is a home for all who read and write poetry. Its programs, meant to invite the public into the widest tradition of the art, include readings, poetry-related installations, events for families and children, and the annual Poets House Showcase.*
Founded in 2008, Split This Rock cultivates, teaches, and celebrates poetry that bears witness to injustice and provokes social change. It calls poets to a greater role in public life and fosters a national network of socially engaged poets. Based in the nation's capital, Split This Rock celebrates poetic diversity and the transformative power of the imagination, while building the audience for poetry of provocation and witness.*
The University of Arizona Poetry Center is a living archive, founded in 1960 to maintain and cherish the spirit of poetry, and advances a diverse and robust literary culture that serves a local-to-global spectrum of writers, readers and new audiences for poetry and the literary arts. The Poetry Center sponsors numerous University and community programs, including readings and lectures, classes and workshops, discussion groups, symposia, writing residencies, poets-in-the-schools, poets-in-the-prisons, contests, exhibitions, and online resources, including standards-based poetry curricula. An area of special emphasis within the College of Humanities, the Poetry Center is open and fully accessible to the public.*
Urban Word NYC is at the forefront of the youth literary arts movement in the United States. Founded in 1999, UW presents free literary arts education and youth development programs in the areas of creative writing, spoken word, playwriting, college prep, literature and hip-hop.*
The Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University promotes educational and artistic opportunities for emerging and established poets and poetry audiences regionally, nationally, and internationally. Established in 1984 by Robert and Walter Wick in memory of their sons Stan and Tom, WPC awards poetry scholarships, hosts an annual reading series, sponsors the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize and an Ohio chapbook prize (published by KSU Press), and delivers outreach to area schools, hospitals, and detention centers. Wick’s interactive Traveling Stanzas project encourages people of all ages around the world to engage in a global conversation through the intimate and inclusive voice of poetry.*
Founded in 1979, Woodland Pattern Book Center is dedicated to the discovery, cultivation and presentation of contemporary literature and related arts. The Center houses a bookstore with over 25,000 small press titles, and a gallery that acts as a venue for dozens of exhibitions, artist talks, readings, experimental films, concerts and writing workshops each year. Woodland Pattern promotes a lifetime practice of reading and writing, provides a forum and resource center for writers and artists in the region, and increases and diversifies the audience for contemporary literature through innovative approaches to multi-arts programming.*
Since 1991, Young Chicago Authors has been transforming the lives of young people by cultivating their voices through writing, publication, and performance education. YCA exposes young people to hip-hop realist portraiture and teaches them how to create their own authentic narratives through a variety of arts education programs both in and out of the classroom. YCA’s programs serve as an introduction to and immersion in a vibrant literary community that transcends cultural and socio-economic boundaries.
Founded in 1996 in San Francisco, Youth Speaks has long championed a local, national, and increasingly global movement of young people picking up pens and stepping proudly onto stages, declaring themselves present. One of the world’s leading presenters of Spoken Word performance, education, and youth development programs, Youth Speaks produces local and national youth poetry slams, festivals, and reading series, alongside a comprehensive slate of arts-in-education programs during the school day, in the after-school hours and on weekends. Youth Speaks exists to shift the perceptions of youth by combating illiteracy, isolation, alienation, and silence, creating a global movement of brave new voices bringing the noise from the margins to the core.*