The 2018 National Student Poets visit the stacks at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., during their Appointment Events. (Photo by Shannon Finney)

The 2018 National Student Poets visit the stacks at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., during their Appointment Events. (Photo by Shannon Finney)

Ever since the current class of National Student Poets were announced last August and were appointed as literary ambassadors in Washington, D.C., they’ve been working hard to spread their love of poetry through readings and workshops while also planning for 2019. Let’s take a look back at the 2018 National Student Poets, and see what they have in store for us next year!

In October, the 2018 National Student Poets attended the Dodge Poetry Festival in Newark, New Jersey. At the festival, the Student Poets attended Dodge panels, readings, discussions, and participated in a private master class with Academy of American Poets Chancellor Ellen Bass.

They also went to individual Newark high schools to lead poetry workshops. Alexandra Contreras-Montesano went to East Side High School to lead her poetry workshop, while Daniel Blokh visited Technology High School. Ariana Smith worked with students at American History High School, Darius Atefat-Peckham went to Science Park High School, and Heather Laurel Jensen conducted a poetry workshop at Arts High School.

The Class of 2018 National Student Poets conduct a poetry workshop for Scholastic Inc. staff and Alliance for Young Artists & Writers staff at Scholastic's headquarters in New York City.

The Class of 2018 National Student Poets conduct a poetry workshop for Scholastic Inc. and Alliance for Young Artists & Writers staff at Scholastic’s headquarters in New York City.

As if they weren’t busy enough leading their individual workshops, all five of the Student Poets made sure to stop by the Scholastic Inc. headquarters in New York City to lead a poetry workshop with Scholastic Inc. and Scholastic Awards staff!

The Student Poets headed back to New Jersey where they participated in a Jam & Slam at the Newark Public Library with elite members of NJPAC’s Wells Fargo Jazz for Teens program. The Student Poets and the Jazz for Teens members intertwined poetry and jazz, creating a memorable experience. The event was introduced by Arizona Poet Laureate and Academy of American Poets Chancellor Alberto Ríos.

Finally, the 2018 National Student Poets had a chance to meet Student Poets from previous classes at an alumni reunion dinner, which involved passionate discussions on how the Program can involve its poetry-loving community of alums even more integrally.

So, what’s next for the Class of 2018 National Student Poets?

The Student Poets will be attending the Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference in March, where three of the Student Poets will also do work in venues like local public schools for the Poetry Coalition’s March programming. During Poetry Month in April, the Student Poets will be traveling to regions across the country to host workshops. Alexandra Contreras-Montesano will visit Maine, Daniel Blokh is headed to West Virginia, Ariana Smith is going to Wyoming, Darius Atefat-Peckham will visit Missouri, and Heather Laurel Jensen will be making a trip to Oklahoma.

The Student Poets have a busy year ahead of them! We can’t wait to share more about their journey as literary ambassadors.

 

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