Renal by Madison Brownson. Age 17, Grade 12. 2014 Gold Medal, Art Portfolio.

Hanel Baveja and Madison Brownson both create to help bring a new level of awareness to our lives and our bodies. While Hanel’s “greatest hope for my work is that my poems strike a chord of shared existence” with her readers, Madison’s “hope is to make the viewer pause and realize the beautiful complexity of their own anatomy or the world around them.” Both artists aim to awaken their audience to the intricacies of the world we share.

In honor of National Poetry Month, here is a selection from Hanel’s Award-winning portfolio, comprised entirely of poetry! You can also see more of Madison’s plush organs below!

When Clark’s Ice Cream Parlor first opened

Combinations we’d never even dreamed of.
Names too long to remember:
Dark chocolate ice cream with raspberry
cheesecake pieces and caramel bonbons,
sweet cream ice cream with bumbleberry
compote and jordan almond fudge chunks. 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


Min Jung Son, Love Me Not, Grade 12, Age 19
Gold Medal, American Visions Award, 2013


Happy Valentine’s Day! In honor of this special day we would like to share some poems from past Scholastic Art & Writing Award winners. We hope you enjoy these beautiful words and find the inspiration to write your own poem today!


Letter from Orfeo to his Lover. Guisa, Cuba. 1959.

They say the snake has eyes of glass,
that trees of royal ebony shudder to life and hum
morbid tales, but I know better. I know the serpent’s
fangs. I know that black bark breaks under bullets
when compañeros (Borrachos, sin vergüenza) stoop
under boredom. I know the sap-stained edge
of the machete’s blade. I know the stench of mud,
bubbling beneath boots, when we sink and steep
in it after the crazed chirping of máquina guns
and the tremulous roars of bombas break the air.
The revolution rattles on and drags my scarred limbs with it. 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 Michaela Coplen who was recently appointed as one of five National Student Poets and represents the program’s Northeast Region!

Michaela, 17, attends Carlisle High School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. She is the youngest child in a family that includes two Army parents, an ROTC cadet sister, and a farm full of horses. Michaela is the captain of the varsity soccer team; a member of the Model United Nations, the National Honor Society, and the Spanish Honor Society; and editor-in-chief of the literary publication Young Adult Writers and Poets (YAWP). Read More