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Dear Poet Project

National Poetry Month is a registered trademark of the Academy of American Poets.


This winter, the Academy of American Poets launched a search for America’s biggest poetry fans: people who demonstrate a passion for poetry that goes beyond the usual. After receiving hundreds of provocative entries from fans across the country, these entries surpassed our wildest expectations.

Walt Whitman Poetfan

Jan Freeman
Ashfield, Massachusetts

Beginning in 1993, I started having a celebration every July 4th at 10 a.m.: "Bagels and Walt." Sometimes the gatherings have 3 people, and sometimes there have been more than 40.
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Contemporary Poetfans

Michael A. Mart
St. James, New York

Together with my wife, Mary, I ran an antiquarian bookshop on Long Island, New York for 34 years. . . . We did what we could to carry books of local poets, even though we were not a shop selling new books.
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E. E. Cummings Poetfan

Jeff Urban
Cambridge, Massachusetts

As a physical chemist, I found Cummings's poems to be precious puzzles, euphonous and layered in complexity. . . I often turned to the playful mind of E. E. Cummings for a rest. Soothing, epigrammatic, quirky, and fun. A wonderful balm for my aching brain.
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Pablo Neruda Poetfans

Alberto Meza and his students
Miami Dade College
Miami, Florida

I have made a commitment to bring Neruda's imagery in the classroom. In fact, my students have worked on Veinte poemas de amor y una cancion desesperada (Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair) in woodcuts and etchings.
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Hear selections from an interview with this Poetfan.

W. B. Yeats Poetfans

Caitlin Montanye Parrish and Brina Rodin
Chicago, Illinois

I work as a caregiver. I've made a friend working with dementia patients. A former poet, Brina is a 94-year-old woman. My employers believed we would have a lot to talk about.
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Hear selections from an interview with this Poetfan.

Emily Dickinson Poetfans

Sharyn Moore and her students
ELS Language Centers
Santa Monica, California

Finding poetry and a poet for college-bound international students is a pedagogical puzzle. For an elective course entitled "Here's Hollywood," idiom, metaphor and new vocabulary lead to discussion, as well as the realization, "I can understand poetry, in English!"
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Are you a poet's biggest fan? Though the contest has officially ended, we're always on the lookout for individuals or groups who have an uncanny interest or investment in poetry.

Send an email to and tell us about your devotion to a poet—or poetry in general. You may just find yourself among the Poetfans already featured on

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