The 2018 National Student Poets celebrate in Washington, D.C., during their Appointment Events. (Photo by Shannon Finney)

The 2018 National Student Poets celebrate in Washington, D.C., during their Appointment Events. (Photo by Shannon Finney)

Every year during National Poetry Month, the National Student Poets travel the country as literary ambassadors, spreading their love of poetry with communities throughout the United States.

Three of the five 2018 National Student Poets—Ariana Smith, West; Daniel Blokh, Southeast; and Darius Atefat-Peckham, Midwest—will be featured speakers on a panel at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Conference in Portland, OR, on March 30, 2019, after hosting AWP’s first-ever teen poetry writing workshop in conjunction with the conference. They will also be hosting workshops with a youth detention center and the Sexual+Gender Minority Youth Resource Center in Portland, Oregon, in conjunction with the Poetry Coalition’s March “Poetry and Democracy” theme.

For National Poetry Month 2019, the following plans have been confirmed:

  • Darius Atefat-Peckham will travel to Kansas City and Jefferson City, Missouri, working with local public schools from April 1–4.
  • Daniel Blokh will travel to West Virginia April 2–5 to present at the annual “Spring Fling” literary conference and will visit local schools around the main event.
  • Heather Laurel Jensen will travel to Oklahoma April 9–13; after hosting poetry workshops for local schools and a juvenile facility, she will be a featured reader and speaker at the Oklahoma Book Awards.
  • Alexandra Contreras Montesano will travel to Maine April 20–23, where our partners at the Institute of Museum and Library Services have connected us to Maine State Librarians to schedule a series of poetry readings and workshops in local schools and libraries.
  • Alexandra Contreras Montesano will also travel to NYC April 24 for the Poetry & the Creative Mind Gala. On April 25, she will teach a 2+ hour poetry workshop and group reading for Latinx students in Brooklyn.

The following plans have been set in motion but not confirmed:

  • Ariana Smith will hopefully travel to Compton in Los Angeles, California, April 14–18.

The Program will also have a presence at the Association of Children’s Museums InterActivity Conference, hosted in 2019 at the Denver Children’s Museum. Ariana Smith, the poet for the Midwest, will attend to lead a group workshop during the opening session, kicking off the conference’s programming. She will then conclude the conference by dialing-in from offsite to perform some of the poems created by conference attendees.

The 2018 National Student Poets have a lot going on during the next few weeks! If you’d like a National Student Poet to attend your event, please contact us!

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