The National Student Poets pose backstage at Carnegie Hall before the 2017 National Ceremony with Dick Robinson, President of Scholastic Inc., comedian Amy Schumer, actresses Ellie Kemper and Allison Williams, YouTube personality Hunter March, and Virginia McEnerney, Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. (Photo by Stuart Ramson/AP Images for Scholastic)

The National Student Poets pose backstage at Carnegie Hall before the 2017 National Ceremony with Dick Robinson, President of Scholastic Inc., comedian Amy Schumer, actresses Ellie Kemper and Allison Williams, YouTube personality Hunter March, and Virginia McEnerney, Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. (Photo by Stuart Ramson/AP Images for Scholastic)

The National Student Poets Program is the nation’s highest honor for youth poets presenting original work. As poetry ambassadors, the Student Poets promote the important role of poetry in society through workshops, readings, and events. These past few months have been filled with exciting opportunities for the Student Poets—from jamming out with other teen poets at the Aspen Ideas Festival to being celebrated onstage at Carnegie Hall, it’s been a thrilling ride! 

Gopal Raman performs an original poem on identity at the Aspen Ideas Festival.

Gopal Raman performs an original poem on identity at the Aspen Ideas Festival.

At the Aspen Ideas Festival, the National Student Poets attended panels and events centered on issues ranging from health care to artificial intelligence. The highlight of the festival was the Afternoon Jam Session where the Student Poets joined other teen poets, dancers, activists, and others to explore identity.

Each year, the five National Student Poets are invited to New York City to participate in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards’ National Events–a three day festival celebrating students from across the country who have earned National Medals in the Scholastic Awards.

Edward Hirsch

Edward Hirsch leads the Student Poets on a tour of the Gugenheim Foundation’s poetry collection

This year, the 2016 Student Poets began National Events with a master class led by poet Edward Hirsch. After receiving a special tour of the Gugenheim Foundation’s incredible poetry collection, the poets read and discussed a few poetry classics, then workshopped their own poetry.

The National Student Poets onstage at Carnegie Hall during the National Ceremony on Thursday, June 8, 2017. (Photo by Stuart Ramson/AP Images for Scholastic)

The National Student Poets onstage at Carnegie Hall during the National Ceremony on Thursday, June 8, 2017. (Photo by Stuart Ramson/AP Images for Scholastic)

The next stop for the Student Poets was the National Ceremony at Carnegie Hall where they received a surprise introductory message from Former First Lady, Michelle Obama! They were also invited onstage to take a bow and read samples of their work to an audience full of students, educators, parents, and guests.

The National Student Poets at Harlem Academy

The National Student Poets at Harlem Academy

For the fifth year in a row, the National Student Poets Program returned to Harlem Academy to conduct a reading and two poetry workshops. Students in grades 3-4 attended the workshops, where they wrote their own praise poems about ice cream.

The Student Poets were then whisked away to Pratt Institute’s Pratt Manhattan Gallery for the Student Showcase. At the Showcase, the Student Poets hosted a panel about their time as National Student Poets, discussing National Poetry Month events, their community service projects, and how amazing it was to meet Former First Lady, Michelle Obama.

Even though it’s summer, the Student Poets are still working hard to spread their love of poetry. For the rest of the summer, they will be concentrating on finishing their community service projects where they will be working with local organizations to promote poetry.

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