New York, NY (February 9, 2023)—This Valentine’s Day, and for all of Black History Month, the Academy of American Poets encourages readers to share love poems and follow Guest Editor and new Chancellor Patricia Smith’s special month of Poem-a-Day. Smith asked twenty Black poets to pen a love sonnet, with license to experiment with the form and celebrate multiple kinds of love. These new poems are being published throughout the month on weekdays in Poem-a-Day, which reaches 800,000+ readers each morning through email, web, and social media, making it the nation’s largest platform for poets to share new work.

“I think the idea of really mastering the sonnet is so you know how many ways to break it apart to make it yours,” Smith said in a recent interview published on 

Readers will encounter “different kinds of love in these poems,” she added. “There’s person-to-person love, of course, but there’s a wider love of community; there’s a wider love of family. There’s un-love in some of these poems; there’s the struggle for love. And I’m very, very happy about the way that the poets interpreted this.”

To read and listen to the interview with Patricia Smith about her curatorial approach, visit:

To subscribe to Poem-a-Day and read along this month, sign up for free and receive a new email each morning in your inbox: 

For more poems to read and share in honor of Black History Month, visit: 

For more poems to read and share this Valentine’s Day, the Academy has put together a list of recommended classic and contemporary poems from its online collection: 


How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

[since feeling is first]” by E. E. Cummings

Wild Nights—Wild Nights! (249)” by Emily Dickinson

Ballad” by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Ask Me Why I Love You” by Walter Everette Hawkins

Love Song” by Rainer Maria Rilke

A Valentine” by Priscilla Jane Thompson

Ever Faithful to You” by Lucian B. Watkins


Interview with a Rose” by James Cagney 

From the Desire Field” by Natalie Diaz

Prayer for Appetite” by Luiza Flynn-Goodlett

The moon rose over the bay. I had a lot of feelings.” By Donika Kelly

Adore” by Li-Young Lee

By Your Hand” by Haʻåni Lucia Falo San Nicolas

for you” by Eileen Myles 

Visit for more love poems.

Smith is a poet, teacher, and performance artist, and one of the newest elected Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets. She is the author of numerous collections, including Unshuttered (Northwestern University Press, 2023); Incendiary Art (Northwestern University Press, 2017), winner of the 2018 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and the 2017 Los Angeles Times Book Award in poetry, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry; Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah (Coffee House Press, 2012), winner of the 2013 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; and Blood Dazzler (Coffee House Press, 2008), which was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award. Smith is the winner of the Poetry Foundation’s 2021 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize for lifetime achievement, a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, a Cave Canem faculty member, and a professor of creative writing at the City University of New York and Princeton University. 

About the Academy of American Poets 

Founded in 1934, the Academy of American Poets is the nation’s leading champion of poets and poetry with supporters in all fifty states and beyond. The organization annually awards $1.3+ million to more than two hundred poets at various stages of their careers through its prize and fellowship programs. The organization also produces, the world’s largest publicly funded website for poets and poetry; established and organizes National Poetry Month each April; publishes the popular Poem-a-Day series and American Poets magazine; provides free resources to K–12 educators, including the award-winning weekly Teach This Poem series; hosts an annual series of poetry readings, and special events; and coordinates a national Poetry Coalition that promotes the value poets bring to our culture. To learn more about the Academy of American Poets, including its staff, its Board of Directors, and its Board of Chancellors, visit: