Each year during National Poetry Month in April, the Academy of American Poets presents a special celebration of poetry's important place in our culture and its impact on the lives of readers and artists working in other disciplines.
On April 29, 2021, to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of National Poetry Month, the 18th annual Poetry & the Creative Mind was broadcast virtually at 7:30 EDT. The event, typically held in person in New York City, will be presented virtually for the first time ever, making it available to poetry readers and lovers everywhere.
Poetry & the Creative Mind features leading and legendary actors, dancers, artists, musicians, and public figures sharing their favorite poems. Past readers have included Uzo Aduba, Sam Beam, Wayne Brady, Glenn Close, Claire Danes, Tina Fey, Terrance Howard, Bill T. Jones, Maya Lin, Paul Simon, Patti Smith, Uma Thurman, and Carrie Mae Weems, as well as frequent Honorary Event Co-chair Meryl Streep.
This always-inspiring evening benefits the K–12 Education Program of the Academy of American Poets, which reaches more than 100,000 students each year with resources on Poets.org, the Dear Poet project, and materials created for National Poetry Month.
The Academy of American Poets had hosted this annual celebration each year from 2003–2019. In 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the event, which gathers a thousand poetry readers together at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, could not be held as planned. A virtual reading called “Shelter in Poems” was held in its place, as an opportunity to find community together in poetry during an unprecedented moment in history. Revisit that event recording and read poems from the Shelter in Poems collection here.
Poetry & the Creative Mind is made possible thanks to the support of individuals and the event’s corporate sponsors. This year, in honor of the 25th anniversary of National Poetry Month—now the largest literary celebration in the world—the Academy of American Poets will recognize the publishers and companies helping to champion poetry and expand its readership, including to young audiences across the country, as part of The Publishers Circle and The Young Readers Circle.