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.
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.”
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.