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.

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.