Each year during National Poetry Month in April, the Academy of American Poets presents a gala celebration of poetry's important place in our culture, and its impact on the lives of readers and artists working in other disciplines. The event—Poetry & the Creative Mind—features leading and legendary actors, dancers, artists, musicians, and public figures on one stage sharing their favorite poems. Honored Readers have included Uzo Aduba, Sam Beam, Gabriel Byrne, Wayne Brady, Glenn Close, Claire Danes, Tina Fey, Terrance Howard, Holly Hunter, Bill T. Jones, Kevin Kline, Maya Lin, Amanda Palmer, Paul Simon, Patti Smith, Sting, Carrie Mae Weems, Vanessa Williams, and Uma Thurman.
The 18th annual Poetry & the Creative Mind was set to take place on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 and planned to feature Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep; Academy Award–nominated actress Sigourney Weaver; Emmy Award–winning journalist Dan Rather; novelist and author of Crazy Rich Asians Kevin Kwan; “30 Rock” actor and author Maulik Pancholy; Emmy Award-nominated actor Michael K. Williams; President of the Open Society Foundations and former Ambassador to South Africa Patrick Gaspard; Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem Thelma Golden; President of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and poet Elizabeth Alexander; and National Student Poet Alondra Uribe, who would perform their favorite poems at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall.
Due to the national state of emergency over COVID-19 and the cancellation of all April events at Lincoln Center, Poetry & the Creative Mind will be rescheduled to April 28, 2021.
The always inspiring evening benefits the K-12 Education Program of the Academy of American Poets, including resources for teachers on Poets.org, the Dear Poet project, and materials created and distributed to 100,000 libraries and classrooms for National Poetry Month.
The annual celebration was supported in part by ABRAMS, Andrews McMeel Publishing, Barnes & Noble, JetBlue, Penguin Random House, Poets & Writers, the Poetry Foundation, and our exclusive media partner WNYC.
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