2014-06-06 SAWA Awards-206

The 2013 Class of National Student Poets (from the left: Nathan Cummings; Louis Lafair; Michaela Coplen; Sojourner Ahebee; Aline Dolinh) enjoy their time in New York City for the 2014 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards National Events.

We are still reeling from a dynamic and rich Scholastic Art & Writing Awards National Events week in New York City! During the Events, the 2013 Class of National Student Poets led workshops with third and fourth graders at Harlem Academy, walked across Carnegie Hall’s legendary stage and presented their community service projects with passion at the Saturday Student Showcase at the Art.Write.Now.2014 National Exhibition, which took place at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons the New School for Design and Pratt Manhattan Gallery.  These exhibitions featured over 1,000 visual and literary award-winning works from students in grades 7 through 12. This week, the National Student Poets will join other accomplished youth poets at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, CO! Read More

April Sojourner

April 24-25, 2014: Partnering with the Ohio Center for the Book, National Student Poet Sojourner Ahebee was a featured reader and led poetry workshops at three Cleveland library branches, including the Carnegie West Library, the Main Library downtown and the Langston Hughes Library. Before she departed on Friday, April 25, she led a poetry workshop for students at Collinwood High School.

April Nathan

April 4-5, 2014: National Student Poet Nathan Cummings led four classroom workshops for 7th graders at Bryant Middle School. On April 5, he led a public workshop at the Salt Lake City Public Library and read with poets Sara Cove and Willy Palomo.

April Aline

April 24, 2014: Partnering with the Kentucky Arts Council, National Student Poet Aline Dolinh was a featured reader at Kentucky Writers’ Day in the Capitol Building! There, she read with Kentucky Poet Laureate Frank X.Walker and later led a poetry workshop with high school students at Western Hills High.

April Louis

April 3-6, 2014: In addition to writing the prologue for the Austin International Poetry Festival Youth Poetry Anthology, National Student Poet Louis Lafair was a featured reader and kicked off the Youth Anthology release party with his poetry and words of encouragement for students attending. The 22nd Annual Austin International Poetry Festival (AIPF) April 3-6, 2014, is a four-day citywide, all-inclusive celebration of poetry and poet open to the public. It has grown to become “the largest non-juried poetry festival in the U.S.”

April Michaela

April 10-12, 2014: In partnership with the Vermont Humanities Council and Vermont Arts Council, National Student Poet Michaela Coplen led workshops for 7th graders at Edmunds Middle School and visited Vermont’s only correctional facility for women, Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility, where she led a poetry workshop. Director of Programs, Kimber Craine, of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, accompanied Michaela. On April 11, Michaela led the State Devotional by reading her own poetry at the House of Chambers in Montpelier, VT. She received a standing oviation. Immediately after the Devotional, Michaela led a poetry workshop for 11th grade students at Montpelier High School. That night, she read with the Vermont Poet Laureate Sydney Lea at the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

What an incredible April of travel, poetry and celebration. Collectively, the National Student Poets clocked over 2,600 miles of travel across the country last month to reach more students, connect with educators and share their love of poetry. Read the full National Poetry Month Press Release here, special feature in the April edition of Poets & Writers magazine and flip through the National Student Poets Program Facebook Page for fun event photos (you may even spot a celebrity or two!). Read More

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