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 conducts a poetry workshop for Scholastic Inc. staff and Alliance for Young Artists & Writers staff at Scholastic’s headquarters in New York City.

Today is Poem in Your Pocket Day! Every year during National Poetry Month, poetry lovers are asked to carry a poem with them in their pocket and share it with others in conversation, through email, or even on social media (use #pocketpoem)!

If you haven’t decided on which poem to carry with you today, then you should check out the 2018 National Student Poets! Here they are reading their own original poetry. Feel free to share these videos with your friends!

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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!

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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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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou know the drill: everyone goes around the circle and says their name, where they’re from, and some “interesting fact” about themselves. It’s standard first-day-of-school-or-camp-or-other-student-activity procedure. Meanwhile you sit there, the very last person in the circle, knowing that there’s really no way you could remember all these names anyway, but especially not now since all you can do is focus on coming up with that one “interesting fact.” It has to be something unique and memorable (because first impressions are important), but not something too weird (because first impressions are important), and it should by no means evoke any kind of follow-up question (because second impressions are even more important, and you’re just not ready for that yet). Then there’s the pressure of going last—these people are expecting some grand finale, and really how can you beat “I once went skydiving with my grandpa” kid? Flustered, you end up blurting out something (like: “I’m a fan of Netflix” or “my favorite color is aquamarine”) that, while important, doesn’t really define you (except that now it does—you will be “aqua girl” in the minds of all your peers for at least the next few hours).

That’s kind of how I feel right now.

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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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