2016 National Poetry Month Highlights

National Poetry Month Poster

Each year, the Academy of American Poets partners with award-winning designer Chip Kidd to commission a poster in celebration of National Poetry Month. The 2016 poster was illustrated by Debbie Millman and features lines of poetry by some of our greatest poets.

This year we distributed over 100,000 posters to schools, libraries, bookstores, community centers, and our members.

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2016 National Poetry Month Poster

Dear Poet 2016

To help teachers and students celebrate National Poetry Month, we offer a signature multimedia education project Dear Poet that invites young people in grades five through twelve to write letters in response to poems written and read by some of the award-winning poets who serve on the Academy of American Poets Board of Chancellors

In 2016, we produced, and made available for free on Poets.org, a series of videos featuring our Chancellors reading their poems. And to further help teachers bring Dear Poet to the classroom, we worked with a curriculum specialist to design a lesson plan, aligned with the Common Core.

Read a selection of the 1,300+ letters we received from young people to our Chancellors and their heartfelt responses back.

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Juan Felipe Herrera in Dear Poet 2016

Poetry & the Creative Mind

On April 27, 2016, the Academy of American Poets presented its fourteenth annual Poetry & the Creative Mind reading at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, commemorating the twentieth anniversary of National Poetry Month. The evening began with a reading from award-winning poet and memoirist Elizabeth Alexander, who served as the event’s master of ceremonies, and Eileen Huang, a participant in the National Student Poets program, and featured musical performances by Paul Simon and musicians David Krakauer and Carla Dirlikov, who performed a piece by the composer Mohammed Fairouz.

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Poem in Your Pocket Day: April 21

Every April, on Poem in Your Pocket Day, people throughout the United States celebrate by selecting a poem, carrying it with them, and sharing it with others throughout the day as schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, and other venues ring loud with open readings of poems from pockets. In 2016, we partnered with the League of Canadian Poets to extend Poem in Your Pocket Day to Canada.

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