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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The Youth Poetry Ambassadors pose after a day of performances at the Poetry Foundation. Represented are the National Student Poets Program, Young Chicago Authors, Poetry Out Loud, and the Philly Youth Poetry Movement. Photo by George Gong.

In Chicago, on April 2–3, the National Student Poets Class of 2014 convened at the Poetry Foundation in Chicago to kick off National Poetry Month with a Youth Poetry Assembly. The National Student Poets were joined by their peers representing other programs throughout the nation: Poetry Out Loud, Young Chicago Authors, and the Philly Youth Poetry Movement. The performances were electric, as each of the eleven writers, readers, and performers took to the stage to share their poetry with one another and an open audience of poetry lovers.
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We are thrilled to introduce your fifth 2014 National Student Poet Southwest region representative, Madeline LaCesne! Madeline, age 18, is a senior at Lusher Charter School in New Orleans, Louisiana. Madeleine began writing poetry when she was six years old. After her parents gave her an antique bed, each night she used the back of its headboard to scribble poetry into the wood. She lost this work in 2005, when the headboard and her home were washed away by Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans like her own identity is a blend of various cultures and bloodlines, so her work deals with unscrambling her identity and sparked an interest in genealogy as well as the city’s history. Among the writers she looks to for guidance are Anne Carson, Kimiko Hahn, and Anna Moschovakis.

Favorite quote about writing:

Quote from Milosz’s “Ars Poetica”: “The purpose of poetry is to remind us / how difficult it is to remain just one person.”

Fun fact:

Since I turned fourteen, the first thing I do as soon as I wake up on my birthday is read Richard Wilbur’s “Love Calls Us to the Things of This World” aloud. Read More

Introducing Cameron Messinides, your Southeast Region 2014 National Student Poet representative! Cameron, from Camden, SC, is a senior at South Carolina Governor’s School of the Arts & Humanities in Greenville, SC. A 17 year old creative writing student, Cameron was recognized with an honorary mention for the Leonard L. Milberg ’53 Secondary School Poetry Prize, and his work has been published on The Atlantic’s website. He lives with his parents and five brothers and sisters, where, besides writing, he spends his time playing basketball, clumsily cooking dinner once a week, and helping raise the family goats.

Fun Fact:

Cameron loves Basketball. His favorite basketball player is Andre Iguodala.

Favorite Quote About Writing:

“The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.”

– Gustave Flaubert Read More

Meet Julia Falkner, your West region 2014 National Student Poet representative! Julia is 17 and a senior at Monarch High School in Louisville, Colorado. Most of Julia’s work is about adolescence, gender, and vulnerability. She co-runs her high school’s Writers Society as well as edits and produces the school literary magazine,B-Sides. Additionally, she absorbs as much art as possible. In the coming year she hopes to start a film project, read the collected works of Shakespeare, and complete a science-fiction novel. When she isn’t writing, Julia keeps a loaded AP schedule, plays electric keyboards and guitar, and runs cross country for her high school.

Favorite Quote About Writing:
“Poetry can move the fulcrum of the mind just enough so that the world becomes electrified and bewildering.”

Fun Fact:
Julia volunteers at a local neuroscience lab and is currently working on a project investigating pain tolerance. Read More