New York, NY (March 5, 2020)— The Academy of American Poets is pleased to announce that on each Saturday in March, its popular Poem-a-Day series will feature a new poem that was commissioned for Project 19, the New York Philharmonic’s initiative to mark the centennial of the 19th Amendment, and a curated collection of further reading that explores the 2020 Poetry Coalition theme of #PoetryandProtest. Poem-a-Day is distributed to more than 500,000 readers each morning via email, social media, and syndication.
The four selected poets are:
Sign up for Poem-a-Day and stay tuned throughout March to read their featured poems: poets.org/poem-a-day
Read more about Project 19 here: poets.org/project-19
As part of Project 19, the Academy of American Poets partnered with the Philharmonic to commission a total of nineteen new poems by award-winning poets Elizabeth Alexander, Ellen Bass, Kimberely Blaeser, Mahogany L. Browne, Claudia Castro Luna, Tina Chang, Marilyn Chin, Natalie Diaz, Rita Dove, Brenda Hillman, Linda Gregerson, Joy Ladin, Ada Limón, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Alicia Ostriker, Paisley Rekdal, Evie Shockley, Maggie Smith, and Mai Der Vang.
The 2020 Poetry Coalition theme of #PoetryandProtest was inspired by a line by Audre Lorde—”I am deliberate / and afraid / of nothing”—and a number of occasions taking place this year, including the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote and the 50th anniversary of the tragic shooting of student protesters at Kent State University. It also speaks to the role poetry has played in encouraging civic and grassroots engagement, and contributing to public debate and dialogue.
About the Academy of American Poets
The Academy of American Poets is the nation’s leading champion of poets and poetry with members in all fifty states. Founded in 1934, the organization produces Poets.org, the world’s largest publicly funded website for poets and poetry; National Poetry Month; the popular Poem-a-Day series; American Poets magazine; Teach This Poem and other award-winning resources for K-12 educators; and an annual series of poetry readings and special events. In addition, the Academy of American Poets coordinates a national Poetry Coalition working together to promote the value poets bring to our culture and the important contribution poetry makes in the lives of people of all ages and backgrounds. This year the organization has awarded more funds to poets than any other organization, giving a total of $1,250,000 to poets at various stages of their careers.
About the New York Philharmonic
The New York Philharmonic connects with up to 50 million people around the world annually through concerts, broadcasts, recordings, and education programs. In the 2019–20 season, Music Director Jaap van Zweden and the Philharmonic reaffirm their vital commitments to serving as New York’s orchestra and to championing new music. Maestro van Zweden conducts seven World Premieres and symphonic cornerstones and presides over Project 19, marking the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment with commissions by 19 women composers; hotspots festival, spotlighting new-music centers Berlin, Reykjavík, and New York; and Mahler’s New York, examining the composer/conductor who spent time in New York as the Philharmonic’s tenth Music Director. The Philharmonic has commissioned and/or premiered works by leading composers from every era since its founding in 1842. Highlights include Dvořák’s New World Symphony; John Adams’s Pulitzer Prize–winning On the Transmigration of Souls, dedicated to the victims of 9/11; and Julia Wolfe’s Fire in my mouth. The two new-music series introduced in Jaap van Zweden’s inaugural season—Nightcap and Sound ON—return in 2019–20. A resource for its community and the world, the Orchestra complements annual free concerts across the city—including the Concerts in the Parks, Presented by Didi and Oscar Schafer—with Philharmonic Free Fridays, the low-cost Phil the Hall, and education projects, including the famed Young People’s Concerts. The Orchestra has appeared in 435 cities in 63 countries, including Pyongyang, DPRK, in 2008, the first visit there by an American orchestra. The oldest American symphony orchestra and one of the oldest in the world, the Philharmonic has made more than 2,000 recordings since 1917 and produced its first-ever Facebook Live concert broadcast in 2016. Jaap van Zweden became Music Director in September 2018, succeeding titans including Bernstein, Toscanini, and Mahler.