New York, NY (January 25, 2021)— Immediately following the stirring recitation by the first-ever National Youth Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman, at President Biden's Inauguration on January 20, traffic to Poets.org spiked dramatically, with 250% more individuals coming to the site than on the same day last year. Poets.org, produced by the Academy of American Poets, is one of the most visited poetry sites online. This one-day increase, which represents approximately 200,000 more individuals coming to Poets.org, is the largest since the site launched twenty-five years ago.
Visitors sought to learn more about Gorman and her poetry, the history of inaugural poems, and read the previous inaugural poems by Elizabeth Alexander, Maya Angelou, and Richard Blanco. They also wanted to learn more about the current U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo and the role of poets laureate nationwide.
Over the past five years, the Academy has seen a steadily growing interest in both poetry reading and poets’ work in their communities with more and more poet laureate roles being created. In response, in 2019, the Academy of American Poets launched a Poets Laureate Fellowship program providing $1 million annually to poets who serve in these special civic roles. The organization now also provides regularly updated information and resources about poets laureate programs nationwide. But the interest demonstrated in poetry last week was historic.
“Amanda's presence and poem have inspired a nation and beyond, and demonstrated how meaningful poetry can be in imagining paths forward. We're thrilled that, thanks to Amanda, more young people will start reading and writing poetry,” said Jennifer Benka, executive director.
About the Academy of American Poets
The Academy of American Poets is the nation’s leading champion of poets and poetry with supporters in all fifty states. Founded in 1934, the organization annually awards more funds to individual poets than any other organization through its prize program, giving a total of $1,250,000 to more than 200 poets at various stages of their careers. The Academy also produces Poets.org, the world’s largest publicly funded website for poets and poetry; originated and organizes National Poetry Month; publishes the popular Poem-a-Day series and American Poets magazine; provides award-winning resources to K–12 educators, including the Teach This Poem series; hosts an annual series of poetry readings and special events; and coordinates a national Poetry Coalition working together to promote the value poets bring to the country’s culture. This year, in response to the global health crisis, the organization joined six other national organizations to launch Artist Relief, a multidisciplinary coalition of arts grantmakers and a consortium of foundations working to provide resources and funding to the country’s individual poets, writers, and artists who are impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.