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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The Class of 2017 at the Library of Congress James Madison Memorial Building on Thursday, August 31, 2017, in Washington, D.C., with Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden, actor and activist Alfre Woodard, 21st U.S. Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry Juan Felipe Herrera, and Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. (From left: Dr. Carla Hayden, Ben Lee, Annie Castillo, Kinsale Hueston, Juliet Lubwama, Camila Sanmiguel, Alfre Woodard, Juan Felipe Herrera, and Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. Kevin Wolf/AP Images for Alliance for Young Artists & Writers)

The Class of 2017 at the Library of Congress James Madison Memorial Building on Thursday, August 31, 2017, in Washington, D.C., with Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden, actor and activist Alfre Woodard, 21st U.S. Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry Juan Felipe Herrera, and Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. (From left: Dr. Carla Hayden, Ben Lee, Annie Castillo, Kinsale Hueston, Juliet Lubwama, Camila Sanmiguel, Alfre Woodard, Juan Felipe Herrera, and Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. Kevin Wolf/AP Images for Alliance for Young Artists & Writers)

On August 31, the new Class of National Student Poets was appointed at the Library of Congress in a special ceremony in Washington, D.C. While in Washington, the Student Poets were treated to a whirlwind of events celebrating their achievement. From library tours to workshops with esteemed poets, the Class of 2017 had an experience they won’t soon forget.

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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!  Read More

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Class of 2016 National Student Poets outside of the Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery where they read their original persona poems

Class of 2016 National Student Poets outside of the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery where they held their inaugural public reading

On September 8, the Class of 2016 National Student Poets were honored in an appointment ceremony at the White House, hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama. After the ceremony, the students gave their first public reading at the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery. Each Student Poet read an original persona poem inspired by a work of art from museums in their hometowns: the Baltimore Museum of Art, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, High Museum of Art in Atlanta, and the Dallas Museum of Art.

Here are the artworks and the poems in their entirety. Read More

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First Lady Michelle Obama hosts a poetry reading in honor of the 2015 National Student Poets (from left: Anna Lance, David Xiang, De’John Hardges, Chasity Hale, and Eileen Huang) in the Blue Room of the White House, October 8, 2015. (Photo by Patrick G. Ryan for the National Student Poets Program.)

We are delighted to introduce Chasity Hale, De’John Hardges, Eileen Huang, Anna Lance, and David Xiang as the Class of 2015 National Student Poets! These students will join the ranks of esteemed and accomplished literary ambassadors for the National Student Poets Program, the nation’s highest honor for young poets presenting original work.  Read More

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Poets Onstage Carnegie

The National Student Poets, Class of 2014, take a bow on-stage at Carnegie Hall.

The National Student Poets Class of 2014’s year of service is coming to an end—although it feels like just yesterday that they met in Washington, D.C. for their appointment events at the White House, where they read their work for the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama. Somehow, the months in their year of service flew by, past the Dodge Poetry Festival in October and National Poetry Month events throughout April. But there was a brief pause for the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards National Events in NYC at the beginning of June, followed swiftly by an amazing stop in Aspen, Colorado, for the Aspen Ideas Festival.

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