A Letter from the Executive Director

Posted on

Jun 08 2018

Dear Readers,

I’m proud that Poets.org is a trusted source of information about poets and poetry that is relied on by millions of readers of all ages, and many thousands of teachers and students. I, and our staff members, understand, therefore, that producing Poets.org comes with great responsibility.

We know, too, that because of the Academy of American Poets’ position as one of the oldest and largest poetry organizations in the country, the poems, biographies, and other articles we publish by contemporary poets on Poets.org can draw attention to them and provide validation.

The Academy of American Poets was founded with a mission to celebrate and advocate for contemporary poets, and we understand that our editorial and curatorial work exists within and responds to the times in which we are living. We seek to make the best decisions possible, and to maintain, edit, and add to the work of the editors and curators at our organization who came before us.

Our staff today seeks to promote poets we believe reflect artistic excellence in our contemporary context and, to the best of our knowledge, consistent with our organizational value of integrity. Toward this end, the following statement appears on the About Us page of this website: 

The Academy of American Poets is committed to the highest standards of quality and integrity in our publications. We expect our staff and the people with whom we work to conduct themselves with the highest standards of fairness and personal integrity in our sole interpretation, with adherence to all applicable laws. We are under no obligation to publish or promote any poet or their work. We aim to uphold the VIDA #saferLIT guidelines for literary presses and journals, which have recently been posted.

I believe the poetry community—working poets who are actively publishing work, teaching, giving readings; individuals working at poetry presses and journals; individuals working at and volunteering for literary nonprofit organizations and teaching poetry workshops—can help support improved standards for how we work together and treat one another. 

Sincerely,

Jennifer Benka
Executive Director
Academy of American Poets