June 17—Today, Poets.org launches a new suite of resources devoted to teens. Funded, in part, by the generous support of Poets.org readers, the dedicated teen homepage features reading recommendations, writing help, spotlight audio and video recordings, as well as new ways to get involved in grassroots poetry projects.
The Academy of American Poets developed the teen homepage in response to a recent survey they conducted, which showed that over 75% of the people who use Poets.org share one characteristic: that they first developed an interest in poetry before their eighteenth birthday. With young people spending a reported average of 16.7 hours a week online, it seemed clear that in the long term, the best opportunity to reach new readers and writers of poetry is in their early years.
The new teen homepage is available at www.poets.org/teens and includes:
Poetry 101: Resources for Beginners
Browse through a wealth of introductory material, including features on "How to Read a Poem," a poetry glossary, reading guides, and essays on historical poetic schools, movements, and forms.
Find answers to popular questions about poetry publishing and contests, as well as generative writing exercises, reading assignments, and essays on the craft of poetry. Teens can also participate in peer critique through the Poets.org discussion forums.
Poems Teens Like
This selection of favorite poems includes work by poets teens love, including Billy Collins, Lucille Clifton, W. S. Merwin, Naomi Shihab Nye, and U.S. Poet Laureate Kay Ryan—as well as contemporary poets not often presented to younger readers: Thomas Sayers Ellis, Jon Loomis, Mark Jarman, and others. Through poems about young love and sexual awakening, difficult parental relationships, drugs, violence, suicide, and more, this section deals with a variety of topics teens are concerned with but which may not always be addressed in the classroom.
Join the Street Team
Participate in grassroots poetry projects by signing up to receive occasional updates about poetry activities, contests, and collaborative events. Future activities will include the Free Verse Photo Project, NaPoWriMo Pledge Drive, Poem In Your Pocket Day, and more.
Leave Your Mark: Poets.org Notebooks
Share your favorite poems, poet profiles, interviews, and more by creating your own online anthologies. You can upload a cover, write an introduction, and publish your selections to help other readers find the poems you respond to most.
This program was supported by the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the Holmdel (NJ) High School Class of 2008, and nearly 500 individual members and friends of the Academy of American Poets.
About the Academy of American Poets
The Academy of American Poets is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1934 to foster appreciation for contemporary poetry and to support American poets at all stages of their careers. For over three generations, the Academy has connected millions of people to great poetry through programs such as National Poetry Month, the largest literary celebration in the world; Poets.org, the most popular site about poetry on the web, presenting a wealth of great poems, audio recordings, poet biographies, essays, and interactive discussions about poetry; the Poetry Audio Archive, capturing the voices of contemporary American poets for generations to come; American Poet, a biannual literary journal; and our annual series of poetry readings and special events. The Academy also
awards prizes to accomplished poets at all stages of their careers—from hundreds of student prizes at colleges nationwide to the Wallace Stevens Award for lifetime achievement in the art of poetry. For more information, visit www.poets.org.