New York, NY (May 2, 2019)— The Academy of American Poets and The Academy for Teachers are pleased to announce that Dante Di Stefano, a poet who teaches high school English in Endicott, New York, is the winner of the 2019 On Teaching Poem Prize. This prize is given to honor the best unpublished poem written about K–12 teaching and/or teachers. 
Di Stefano’s poem “Prompts (for High School Teachers Who Write Poetry)” was selected by judge Richard Blanco, Presidential Inaugural Poet and author of the new poetry collection How to Love a Country (Beacon, 2019). Blanco is also the Education Ambassador at the Academy of American Poets and about Di Stefano’s poem, he said: “With a tender verve and a raw honesty, Dante Di Stefano brilliantly dimensions the emotional complexities and nuances of teaching. His poem sings and weeps with its many joys and struggles, rewards and frustrations—all grounded in true-to-life experiences and relationships. In doing so, he compels us to see our lives as teachers like those of artists, passionately and compassionately engaged with the essential questions of humanity, day-after-day.”
Di Stefano will receive $1,000 from the Academy for Teachers and his winning poem will be published on and in the Poem-a-Day series in May 2019. 
Blanco selected the poem “Haw River Meditation” by teacher Jonathan Farmer as this year’s finalist. Farmer will receive $500 from the Academy for Teachers and publication of his poem on About Farmer’s poem, Blanco said:  “'Haw River Meditation' is indeed a meditation, with language that is at moments almost languageless, ethereal, transparent, and yet equally powerful, moving, and transcendent. With Zen-like lines and images, Jonathan Farmer’s poem breathes our breaths as teachers in quiet awe of the very mysteries of world that we share with our students.”
About the Academy for Teachers
The Academy for Teachers is a New York City-based nonprofit organization that honors and supports exceptional teachers by bringing them together with prominent experts and artists for inspiring master classes and other events. It also seeks to raise respect for the teaching profession by encouraging artistic works that highlight the essential work of teachers.  
About the Academy of American Poets
The Academy of American Poets is our nation’s leading champion of poets and poetry. 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 resources for K-12 educators; an annual series of poetry readings and special events; and awards more funds to poets than any other organization. It also coordinates the work of a national Poetry Coalition working 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.