Hi! Claire here with a third blog post featuring National Student Poet Natalie from Illinois, who represents the Midwest! For those who are unfamiliar, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services have partnered with the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers to present the National Students Poets Program, the country’s highest honor for youth poets presenting original work. Each year, five National Student Poets are selected through the prestigious Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for a year of service as poetry ambassadors, each representing a different region of the country. This summer, Natalie has featured in and performed at a poetry workshop hosted by Wordplay in Chicago, and will be attending the University of Chicago in the fall.
National Student Poet Natalie Richardson performing at the Cadillac Palace in Chicago at the Louder Than A Bomb finals this past March.
CL: (Struggles to set up the video chat via Google+ Hangout and starts talking.)
NR: I can’t hear you.
CL: (Face falls and types in the chat box on the side, “I’ll ask you the questions here, and you can respond by speaking.”)
NR: Yay for one-sided conversations!
CL: Part one—general questions. What was the highlight of your year as a National Student Poet?
NR: (Pauses.) Wow, there are literally tons to choose from, but if I had to pick one, it would be meeting the President and the First Lady simply because that was the first time that the gravity of the program really hit me. Up to that point, everything was wonderful, of course. But that particular event, for me, set in stone the weight of this title. I particularly feel so lucky that I get to live in this country where people like the President and the First Lady do something like this to support the arts.