For National Poetry Month 2015, we present Dear Poet, an education project that invites young people in grades five through twelve to write letters in response to poems written and read by some of the award-winning poets who serve on our Board of Chancellors. Today's Dear Poet video features Toi Derricotte, author of several collections of poetry including The Undertaker’s Daughter (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011); Tender (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1997), which won the 1998 Paterson Poetry Prize; and Captivity (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1989).

About her work, the poet Sharon Olds has said, “Toi Derricotte’s poems show us our underlife, tender and dreadful. And they are vibrant poems, poems in the voice of the living creature, the one who escaped—and paused, and turned back, and saw, and cried out. This is one of the most beautiful and necessary voices in American poetry today.”

Watch Toi Derricotte reading her poem “For Telly the Fish.” Students are invited to write a letter in response for a chance to have it featured on!

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