Poets in NY

In just a few days, the 2013 Class of National Student Poets will begin to pack their bags and depart to a new city for their National Poetry Month events across the country. They may pack light, some opting for layers over parkas for a spring that yet to sprung. Some may even pack too much after a few last minute pitches into their suitcases. One carry-on item is for certain though: their love for poetry. (“I loafe and invite my soul!”)

Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month is now held every April, when schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets throughout the United States band together to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture.  (“But I have promises to keep, / and miles to go before I sleep.”) Read More

(Photo Credit: Academy of American Poets).

As autumn swept across New York City, the 2013 Class of National Student Poets prepared to leave their hometowns for the Big Apple. Home of Walt Whitman and cobble stone streets. Home of Brownstones and Marianne Moore. The National Student Poets read more poems. They matched the names of poets they have loved and known on paper with their headshots; ready to recognize them in person and spot them out of the crowd. “Poet! I implore you!” They decided what to pack (slacks? jeans?). They wondered if they could even squeeze in a Broadway Show or extra slice of New York pizza into their trip. They filmed the incredible “Poets in the Park” on a crisp, beautiful morning in Central Park. And what brought them to this great and literary metropolis? All five attended – and took part in – the Academy of American Poets’ Poets Forum from October 24 – October 26, 2013. Read More

After attending the incredible Academy of American Poets’ Poets Forum, the five National Student Poets filmed and edited their own short film in Central Park entitled, Poets in the Park. Check it out!

The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers partner to present the National Student Poets Program (NSPP), the country’s highest honor for youth poets presenting original work. Five outstanding high school poets whose work exhibits exceptional creativity, dedication to craft, and promise are selected annually for a year of service as national poetry ambassadors.


Guest post by National Student Poets Program (NSPP) Coordinator, Jeanette Anderson

Growing up in New York City, I remember reading poems on the subway and bus rides to my school located on the outskirts of Manhattan Beach. I braced for the winter winds to whip the water around the school’s steps. I carried Adrienne Rich. I carried Kenneth Koch (especially his great love poem “To Marina”):

Every detail is everything in its place (Aristotle). Literature is a cup

And we are the malted. The time is a glass. A June bug comes

And a carpenter spits on a plane, the flowers ruffle ear rings.

I am so dumb-looking. And you are so beautiful.

This weekend and nearly a decade later, I found myself on the subway with the 2013 National Student Poets. Read More

Meet Louis Lafair who was recently appointed as one of five National Student Poets and represents the program’s Southwest Region!

Louis Lafair, 18, is a senior at St. Stephen’s High School in Austin, Texas. He’s been “playing with words” since second grade. Louis translates his love of writing, reading, speaking, connecting, and challenging preconceived notions into all aspects of his life. Read More

Meet Aline Dolinh who was recently appointed as one of five National Student Poets and represents the program’s Southeast Region!

Aline Dolinh, 15, wrote her first real story in first grade, about a group of cats that lived together in a small town and solved mysteries. She doesn’t write that much about talking animals anymore, but she still loves stories that are a little fantastical. Aline is a sophomore at Oakton High School in Vienna, Virginia, and when she was little she wanted to be the world’s first fashion-designer-astrophysicist-author. Read More