Dear Poet Project: Chancellors Respond to Student Letters

In April, as part of National Poetry Month, we invited students across the United States to read poems by and write letters to the poets who serve on our Board of ChancellorsLetters are still pouring in and we expect that by the end of the month nearly 1,000 young people will have participated in our Dear Poet Project


We've been moved by the passionate interest students have shown in the art of poetry. We're delighted to share with you some of their letters and the responses to them written by our Chancellors.


"Do you ever have to struggle to write? Are there ever times when it seems the inspiration simply won't come?" 

--Kaitlyn (Salt Lake City, Utah)


"As for me, I am an aspiring writer and I really believe that poetry can make a difference in the world. I've seen this first hand." --Lylla (Monteguma, New Mexico)


"When I read your poem, I stopped, paused, pulled my glasses up to the brim of my nose, exhaled, and verbalized a question despite being alone in my bedroom. I asked no one in particular, 'What? What did I just read? What does it mean?'" --Zachary (Houston, Texas)


Throughout National Poetry Month, the Academy received hundreds of inspiring emails, photos, and videos capturing Poem in Your Pocket Day celebrations across the nation. Here are some of the creative ways you chose to participate this year:
  • A school librarian in Gaithersburg, Maryland, recorded this video of first and second graders sharing their pocket poems with other schools through Skype.
  • The folks at Lulu.com in Raleigh, North Carolina, inscribed poems with sidewalk chalk in their office parking lot.
  • Third and fourth grade students at Peralta Elementary in Oakland, California, made dozens of poetry dispenser boxes, filled them with pocket poems, and distributed them to libraries, bookstores, cafes, hospitals, and other venues in the community.
  • Students at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, posted poems around campus at dawn.
  • Businesses in Montgomery, Alabama, hosted a twenty-four-hour poetry marathon at various locations throughout the downtown area.
poets forum 2012
Mark your calendar!

Victor Hernández Cruz, Toi Derricotte, Mark Doty, Marilyn Hacker, Juan Felipe Herrera, Edward Hirsch, Jane Hirshfield, Marilyn Nelson, Naomi Shihab Nye, Ron Padgett, Marie Ponsot, Claudia Rankine, Arthur Sze, Anne Waldman, C. D. Wright, and more!

Join poets and poetry lovers from around the world for in-depth discussions, readings, lectures, publication parties, and poet-led literary walking tours throughout Manhattan.

Hotels in New York City book up fast on Poets Forum weekend. Book now for October and take advantage of our summer sale on All-Events passes.


May 2013
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Upcoming Events

June 7: BROOKSDAY: A marathon reading for Gwendolyn Brooks's birthday (Chicago, Illinois)


October 24-26:

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Poets Forum Weekend (New York, New York)


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Thanks for being a part of the Academy of American Poets community. To learn about other programs, including National Poetry Month, Poem in Your Pocket Day, the annual Poets Forum, and more, visit Poets.org.