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Academy of American Poets Invites Young People to Write Poems for National Poetry Month

 

New York, NY (February 4, 2014) — This April for National Poetry Month, the Academy of American Poets will present Poet-to-Poet, a multimedia educational project that invites young people in grades 3-12 to write poems in response to those shared by award-winning poets who serve on the Academy of American Poets Board of Chancellors.

Academy Chancellors, including Poet Laureate of California Juan Felipe Herrera, National Book Critics Circle Award-winner Edward Hirsch, NEA and Guggenheim Fellow Jane Hirshfield, Lannan Foundation Fellow Naomi Shihab Nye, Pulitzer Prize-nominee Ron Padgett, Jackson Poetry Prize-winner Arthur Sze, Co-Founder (with Allen Ginsberg) of the Naropa Institute Anne Waldman, will each read and discuss one of their poems in a series of exclusive videos presented on the Academy’s website, Poets.org.

After viewing the videos, students are invited to write poems in response and email them, along with their name and the name of the poet who inspired their poem, to poet2poet@poets.org by April 30, 2014. A selection of submitted student poems will be published on Poets.org in May.

To assist teachers interested in offering the Poet-to-Poet project as a classroom activity, the Academy has worked with a curriculum expert, Dr. Madeline Holzer, to prepare lesson plans, aligned with Common Core Standards, to accompany the videos. Dr. Holzer holds an MA in Creative Writing and Poetry from New York University and is an experienced educator. She has previously worked as a classroom teacher, as Director of Arts in Education at the New York State Council on the Arts, and as Educational Development Director at Lincoln Center. She holds a PhD from the Teachers College of Columbia University.

The lesson plans are downloadable for free on Poets.org, along with other poetry lesson plans.

Teachers may also request a free copy of this year’s National Poetry Month poster, which features lines from Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass and was created by artist Chip Kidd.

And, teachers interested in celebrating Poem in Your Pocket Day (April 24, 2014), can find more information, including downloadable pocket poem pdfs, on Poets.org.

About the Academy of American Poets
Celebrating its 80th year, the Academy of American Poets is the largest membership-based nonprofit organization fostering an appreciation for contemporary poetry and supporting American poets. The Academy connects millions of people to great poetry through programs such as National Poetry Month, the largest literary celebration in the world, which it launched in 1996; Poets.org, the Academy’s popular website; American Poet, a biannual literary journal; and an annual series of poetry readings and special events. In addition, since its founding in 1934, the Academy has awarded more money to poets than any other organization.

National Poetry Month Partners and Sponsors
The following organizations helped make National Poetry Month 2014 possible: 826 National, Alfred A. Knopf, American Booksellers Association, American Library Association, American Poetry Review, Ashland Poetry Press, BOA Editions, Bright Hill Press, CavanKerry Press, City Lights Publishers, Coffee House Press, Columbia University Press, Copper Canyon Press, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Graywolf Press, Hanging Loose Press, HarperCollins, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Louisiana State University Press, Milkweed Editions, Modern Language Association, National Council of Teachers of English, National Endowment for the Arts, New Directions, Penguin Books, Persea Books, Poetry Foundation, Random House, Robinson Jeffers Tor House Foundation, Sarabande Books, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, Stadler Center for Poetry, T. S. Poetry Press, University of California Press, University of Pittsburgh Press, W. W. Norton & Company, Wake Forest University Press, Wesleyan University Press, and Yale University Press.



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