April Is National Poetry Month! Here Are 5 Ways to Celebrate

Posted on

Apr 01 2017

New York, NY (April 1, 2017)—The Academy of American Poets—which founded and continues to organize National Poetry Month—is pleased to share five ways to celebrate National Poetry Month in your community.

Encourage students and teachers to participate in the Dear Poet project

The Academy of American Poets is inviting students in grades five through twelve to be a part of Dear Poet for National Poetry Month. To participate, students watch a series of exclusive videos on the organization’s website, Poets.org, that feature award-winning poets, members of the Academy of American Poets Board of Chancellors, sharing their poems. They then write a letter responding to one of the poems. Students who mail or email their letter to the Academy of American Poets by April 27, 2017 (Poem in Your Pocket Day) have a chance to receive a reply from the poet and have their letter featured on the site.

Participating Chancellors include Mark Doty, Marilyn Nelson, Linda Gregerson, Juan Felipe Herrera, Brenda Hillman, Jane Hirshfield, Khaled Mattawa, Alicia Ostriker, Alberto Ríos, Arthur Sze, and Anne Waldman.

Local teachers interested in offering the project as a classroom activity can visit Poets.org to access a free Common Core-aligned Dear Poet lesson plan.

Celebrate National Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 27, 2017

On April 27, Poem in Your Pocket Day, people across North America will select a poem, carry it with them, and share it with others throughout the day. People can also share their poem online using the official hashtag #pocketpoem. The Academy of American Poets provides free resources for celebrating Poem in Your Pocket Day, including a downloadable PDF of poems that we curated with the League of Canadian Poets, on Poets.org.

Poem in Your Pocket Day was launched in 2002 by the New York City Office of the Mayor, in partnership with the New York City Departments of Cultural Affairs and Education. In 2008, the Academy of American Poets took the initiative national and today it is celebrated in schools, communities, and workplaces in all 50 states.

Request a free National Poetry Month poster designed by Maira Kalman

Award-winning artist and illustrator Maira Kalman created this year’s official National Poetry Month poster, which is available for free through April 17 and for $5.00 in our Poets Shop thereafter (while supplies last). 

Each year, in partnership with American Booksellers Association, the American Library Association, and the National Council of Teachers of English, the organization distributes over 120,000 free National Poetry Month posters to classrooms, libraries, and bookstores throughout the United States.

Sign up to receive a Poem-a-Day

Join over 140,000 poetry readers receiving a never before published poem to their inbox every weekday, and classic poems on the weekends. To sign up for this free series curated by the Academy of American Poets, visit Poets.org.

Use the official National Poetry Month hashtags and logo

Follow the thousands of National Poetry Month Celebrations taking place throughout the United States by using #npm17, and on April 27 (Poem in Your Pocket Day) the hashtag #pocketpoem. You can also use the new National Poetry Month logo, which can be downloaded from Poets.org, on your poetry event materials.

For more information and additional ways to celebrate, visit Poets.org.


About National Poetry Month

Established in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets, National Poetry Month is the largest literary celebration in the world. The goals of National Poetry Month are to highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets, to encourage the reading of poems, to assist teachers in bringing poetry into their classrooms, to increase the attention paid to poetry by national and local media, to encourage increased publication and distribution of poetry books, and to encourage philanthropic support for poets and poetry.

The following organizations are helping make National Poetry Month 2017 possible: 826 National, ABRAMS, American Booksellers Association, American Library Association, Andrews McMeel Publishing, Betsy South Beach Hotel, Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Graywolf Press, National Couuncil of Teachers of English, National Endowment for the Arts, National Student Poets Program, Papyrus, Penguin Random House, Inc., Poetry Foundation, Scholastic Inc., and our exclusive media partner WQXR.

About the Academy of American Poets

The Academy of American Poets is the largest member-supported nonprofit organization fostering an appreciation for contemporary poetry and supporting American poets. In addition to National Poetry Month, the organization produces Poets.org, the world’s largest publicly-funded website for poets and poetry; American Poets magazine; an annual series of poetry readings and special events; and, since its founding in 1934, the Academy of American Poets has awarded more money to poets than any other organization through its American Poets Prizes.