Dear Poet 2020

Engage directly with award-winning poets as part of National Poetry Month.

Every National Poetry Month we present Dear Poet, a multimedia education project that invites young people in grades five through twelve to write letters in response to poems written and read by award-winning poets, including poets who serve on the Academy of American Poets Board of Chancellors and who have received our Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowships.

The submission period for our 2020 Dear Poet project is currently closed. 

Lesson plan to use Dear Poet in the classroom

Read a brief essay about Dear Poet.

Read about one high school's participation in the project.

 

Dear Poet Letters 2020

We’re pleased to share that in 2020, we received over 3,035 letters. These students hail from rural, suburban, and urban areas in thirty-eight states, U.S. territories, and countries.

We shared these letters with our Chancellors, who replied to many of them individually. Several Chancellors also wrote a letter addressed to the hundreds of students who wrote in. 

Read letters to Alberto Ríos and his responses.

Read letters to Marie Howe and her responses.

Read letters to Forrest Gander and his responses. 

Read letters to Brenda Hillman and her responses.

Read letters to Kwame Dawes and his responses.

Read letters to Linda Gregerson and her responses.

Read letters to Grace Cavalieri and her responses.

Read letters to Adrian Matejka and his responses.

Read letters to Joy Harjo and her responses.

Read letters to Molly Fisk and her responses.

Read letters to Jaki Shelton Green and her responses.

Read letters to Marilyn Chin and her responses.

Read letters to Alicia Ostriker and her responses.

Read letters to Raquel Salas Rivera and his responses.

Read letters to Claudia Castro Luna and her responses.

Read letters to Khaled Mattawa and his responses.

Read letters to Paisley Rekdal and her responses.

Read letters to Ed Madden and his responses.

Read letters to Kim Shuck and her responses.

Read letters to Jeanetta Calhoun Mish and her responses.

Read letters to Fred L. Joiner and his responses.

Read letters to Natasha Trethewey and her responses.

Read letters to David St. John and his responses.

Read letters to TC Tolbert and his responses.

Alex Flynn Reads Her Dear Poet 2020 Letter

Guadalupe, Dear Poet to Jane Hirshfield

Letters from Dear Poet 2019

In a letter addressed to all participating students, Ellen Bass writes, “It’s been said that a poem begins with the writer and ends with the reader. Your letters make me feel like this poem has now made its full cycle. I’m gratified that it’s touched a place in your hearts, your imaginations, your lives.”

Read more than seventy letters from the 2019 Dear Poet project alongside responses from Ellen Bass, Linda Gregerson, Brenda Hillman, Alberto Ríos, Marilyn Chin, Alicia Ostriker, and Forrest Gander.