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.

For National Poetry Month in April, students’ letters will be published in a booklet on Poets.org alongside poets’ responses.

The submission period for Dear Poet 2023 is closed.


Helpful links

Read a brief essay about Dear Poet.

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

Use the 2023 Dear Poet lesson plan.

Dear Poet FAQ.

Download and print the Dear Poet 2023 Certificate of Completion.


(Teachers—the poems and videos are intentionally inclusive of a variety of poets, levels of content, and perspectives. Please look through the poems and videos before you show them to your class, and choose the ones that you think are most appropriate for your students.)

A letter from Marie Howe

Letters from Dear Poet 2022

In a letter addressed to all students who wrote to her, Marie Howe writes, “I go to poetry because it knows how it feels to be alive—to be overjoyed, to be grief stricken, to be longing, to be lonely, to be afraid, to be brave, to be devoted—it holds the whole vast complicated wondrous experience of being alive. Every poem is a part of the great poem being written over time.”

Read letters from the 2022 Dear Poet project alongside responses from Marilyn Chin, Ellen Bass, Anis Mojgani, Forrest Gander, and more.