Dear Poet 2021

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 Dear Poet 2021 is currently closed.

Read a brief essay about Dear Poet.

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

Browse this Dear Poet teacher collaboration featuring video walk-throughs, writing prompts, and a short assignment.

Use this lesson plan for Dear Poet 2021.

 

Dear Poet Letters 2021

We’re pleased to share that in 2021, we received over 3,600 letters. These students hail from rural, suburban, and urban areas in thirty-five states, U.S. territories, and countries.

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

Read letters to Forrest Gander and his responses.

Read letters to Brenda Hillman and her responses.

Read letters to Beth Ann Fennelly and her responses.

Read letters to Alexandria Peary and her responses.

Read letters to Elizabeth Jacobson and her responses.

Read letters to Dorianne Laux and her responses.

Read letters to Stuart Kestenbaum and his responses.

Read letters to Ellen Bass and her responses.

Read letters to Marilyn Chin and her responses.

Read letters to Tina Cane and her responses.

Read letters to Assétou Xango and their responses.

Read letters to Rodney Gomez and his responses.

Read letters to Margaret Gibson and her responses.

Read letters to Angelo Geter and his responses.

Read letters to Janice Lobo Sapigao and her responses.

Read letters to Kwame Dawes and his responses.

Read letters to David St. John and his responses.

Read letters to Tina Chang and her responses.

Guadalupe, Dear Poet to Jane Hirshfield

Letters from Dear Poet 2020

In a letter addressed to all participating students, Joy Harjo writes, “It is these times, times in which our communities are ‘broken and bereft,’ we turn to poetry. Poetry can hold nearly anything... ”

Read letters from the 2020 Dear Poet project alongside responses from Joy Harjo, Marie Howe, Brenda Hillman, Alberto Ríos, Marilyn Chin, Raquel Salas Rivera, Forrest Gander, and more.

 

 

(The following videos may be better suited for high school students)