New York, NY (May 12, 2020)— As the classes of 2020 graduate and celebrate their academic accomplishments virtually, the Academy of American Poets invites you to share some uplifting and encouraging words with this year’s graduating students from a special, curated selection of twenty poems from the collection:

Dreams by Langston Hughes
Song of the Open Road, 1 by Walt Whitman
Fragment: Questions by Percy Bysshe Shelley 
When My Soul Findeth Wings by Libbie C. Baer
Ding Dong by Henry David Thoreau 
Preparation by Effie Waller Smith 
The High-School Lawn by Thomas Hardy 
Your Soul and Mine by Fenton Johnson 
The Dawn’s Awake! By Otto Leland Bohanan 
When I Rise Up by Georgia Douglas Johnson 

For the Graduation [Bolinas, 1973] by Robert Creeley
Next Time Ask More Questions by Naomi Shihab Nye
Remember by Joy Harjo 
When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities by Chen Chen
A House Called Tomorrow by Alberto Ríos
Children Listen by Roger Reeves
Two Set Out on Their Journey by Galway Kinnell
Now That We Have Tasted Hope by Khaled Mattawa 
Relax by Ellen Bass
Sci-Fi by Tracy K. Smith

For more graduation poems, visit

About the Academy of American Poets

The Academy of American Poets is the nation’s leading champion of poets and poetry with supporters in all fifty states. Founded in 1934, the organization produces, the world’s largest publicly funded website for poets and poetry; organizes National Poetry Month; publishes the popular Poem-a-Day series and American Poets magazine; provides award-winning resources to K–12 educators, including the Teach This Poem series; distributes the American Poets Prizes; hosts an annual series of poetry readings and special events; and coordinates a national Poetry Coalition working together to promote the value poets bring to our culture. Through its prize program, the Academy annually awards more funds to individual poets than any other organization, giving a total of $1,250,000 to more than 200 poets at various stages of their careers. This year, in response to the global health crisis, the Academy launched the #ShelterInPoems initiative, inviting members of the public to select poems of comfort and courage from its online collection to share with others on social media. The initiative culminated in the organization’s first-ever virtual reading, which was watched more than 25,000 times by viewers in more than 40 countries around the world. The Academy is also one of seven national organizations that comprise Artist Relief, a multidisciplinary coalition of arts grantmakers and a consortium of foundations working to provide resources and funding to the country’s individual poets, writers, and artists who are impacted by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.