New York, NY (March 25, 2020)— The poet laureate of the United States, Joy Harjo, has selected twenty-two new poems by contemporary poets to be featured in the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day series as a special offering this April, which is National Poetry Month.
"I'm honored to curate Poem-a-Day during the month of April. During these uncertain times when we are distanced from one another, may these poems remind us that we are undeniably connected. This is the power of poetry," said Harjo.
Among the poets selected by the poet laureate to be featured in April are former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Peter Balakian, Pushcart Prize-winning poet and Guggenheim Fellow Patricia Smith, American Book Award winner Ray Young Bear, Young People's Poet Laureate Naomi Shihab Nye; and other acclaimed poets writing today.
"Reading a poem every morning can be a calming and centering practice. We hope that in this unprecedented moment, poetry will help guide us through, and we’re especially grateful to Joy for curating a powerful month of reading,” said Jennifer Benka, executive director of the Academy of American Poets.
To receive Poem-a-Day, which is free and distributed daily to 500,000+ readers via email, social media, web, and syndication, readers can sign up here: www.poets.org/poem-a-day
Harjo is the first Native American Poet Laureate in the history of the position; she was appointed by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden in June 2019. Her most recent book, American Sunrise, was published by W. W. Norton last August. She is a recipient of the Wallace Stevens Award, the Jackson Poetry Prize, the PEN Open Book Award, the American Indian Distinguished Achievement in the Arts Award, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the William Carlos Williams Award, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas. She has also received fellowships from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Witter Bynner Foundation, The Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Harjo was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2019.
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.