The 2024 poster features artwork by award-winning children’s author and illustrator Jack Wong, and lines from “blessing the boats” by beloved poet Lucille Clifton. Wong was selected by Scholastic—the global children’s publishing, education, and media company—to create the artwork for this year’s poster as part of a new National Poetry Month initiative between the publisher and the Academy of American Poets.
Download a PDF of the 2024 poster.
Learn about Scholastic’s resources for teachers.
Use the Teach This Poem lesson plan featuring the poem and poster.
“What rises like a tide, catches like a sail, moves like the wind, and crashes like a wave — but isn’t a boat on the sea? Just as a poet aims to transform concrete language into figurative meaning, the challenge of an illustrator is to not translate words into images too literally. The very act of both is, in my imagination, beheld in these lines excerpted from Lucille Clifton’s “blessing the boats”: a movement from one medium to another, as from air to water…. On the occasion of National Poetry Month, which in part celebrates the active role poetry plays in young people’s education, reading Clifton’s poem provoked within me the question whether, in the act of “sailing through this to that,” one retains the innocence supposed in her words. In depicting a child raptly cannonball-diving into the unknown, I send forth my own wish for every young person to leap into the “serious business” of poetry with all the spoils of youth intact.”
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