Announcing National Poetry Month Programs For 2018

When the Academy of American Poets created and launched National Poetry Month in April 1996, it couldn't have predicted that its signature program would inspire events in all fifty states, becoming the nation's largest literary celebration. The annual initiative both introduces young readers to poetry and creates an opportunity for teachers, librarians, booksellers, poetry organizations, and poets themselves to showcase the importance of reading and supporting poetry year-round. Today, National Poetry Month remains the Academy of American Poets' special contribution to the art of poetry in the United States, and it is pleased to announce the following activities, initiatives, and resources for this year's celebration.

Poets.org, the website of the Academy of American Poets, is the official information hub for National Poetry Month. There you will find many resources for celebrating National Poetry Month, including Poem-a-Day, a free daily series, which in April will feature poems selected by U. S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith; Poetry Near You, a national events calendar where you can promote your events and possibly be featured as a Poets.org Pick of the Week; lesson plans and tips for teachers who want to bring poetry into their classrooms, including a new special education resource developed in partnership with News-2-You; suggestions for librarians interested in creating displays of poetry books and programs; a list of 30 ways to celebrate National Poetry Month where you live; and weekly National Poetry Month Spotlights, a series featuring the creative and inspiring ways in which people are celebrating poets and poetry.

Throughout the year and especially in April, the Academy of American Poets responds to media inquiries about poetry in the United States and American poets and reaches out to members of the media to encourage coverage of poets and poetry. Jennifer Benka, President & Executive Director of the Academy of American Poets, is available for interviews. Media interested in booking Jennifer can contact Michelle Campagna at: (212) 274-0343, ext. 22 or by writing press@poets.org.

Follow the thousands of National Poetry Month celebrations taking place using #nationalpoetrymonth. Schools, libraries, publishers, booksellers, reading coordinators, and poets are also invited to tweet their events to the Academy of American Poets @POETSorg so the organization might re-share as it's able. To promote events, the Academy of American Poets invites and encourages use of the official National Poetry Month logo, which can be downloaded from Poets.org.

The National Poetry Month poster was designed by award-winning graphic artist Paula Scher, a principal at Pentagram, and is available for free through Poets.org while supplies last and also as a downloadable PDF. In partnership with the American Booksellers Association, the American Library Association, and the National Council of Teachers of English, the Academy of American Poets will distribute over 100,000 National Poetry Month posters to classrooms, libraries, and bookstores throughout the United States.

Dear Poet, the Academy of American Poets' multimedia education project, invites students in grades 5-12 to write letters in response to poems shared by award-winning poets serving on the organization's Board of Chancellors, including Elizabeth Alexander, Terrance Hayes, Marie Howe, and Claudia Rankine. The Chancellors recite their poems in a series of exclusive videos presented on Poets.org. Teachers interested in offering Dear Poet as a classroom activity can visit Poets.org to access the free lesson plan that accompanies the videos. Students can mail their response letters to the Academy of American Poets or email them to dearpoet@poets.org by April 30. Selected letters will receive a reply from the poet and will be featured on Poets.org in May.

On April 25, the Academy of American Poets will hold its annual Poetry & the Creative Mind celebration at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall featuring a performance of poems by Tim Daly, Patty Griffin, Christine Lahti, Janna Levin. Juliet Lubwama, Lorna Simpson, Uma Thurman, Krista Tippett, and Bill Yosses. The event celebrates poetry's important place in our culture and its impact on the lives of readers and is a benefit, which raises funds to support the educational programs of the Academy of American Poets.

On Poem in Your Pocket Day, people select a poem, carry it with them, and share it with others throughout the day. The Academy of American Poets provides free resources for celebrating National Poem in Your Pocket Day, including a downloadable PDF of pocket poems on Poets.org. Poem in Your Pocket Day was launched in 2002 by the New York City Office of the Mayor, in partnership with the New York City Departments of Cultural Affairs and Education. In 2008, the Academy of American Poets took the initiative national, and in 2016 to Canada in partnership with the League of Canadian Poets. People can share their poem online using the official hashtag #pocketpoem.

The Academy of American Poets' activities and programming are only possible with the support of National Poetry Month Sponsors and Partners, including 826 National, American Booksellers Association, American Library Association, Betsy South Beach Hotel, Bilingual Press, Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Graywolf Press, National Council of Teachers of English, National Endowment for the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York Public Library, New York State Council on the Arts, O, Miami, Penguin Random House, Inc., Scholastic Inc., Strand Books, WQXR, American Girl, Barnes & Noble, Andrews McMeel Publishing, Poets & Writers Inc., Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Penguin Books, W. W. Norton & Company, Poetry Foundation, and more.

The Academy of American Poets is the largest membership-based nonprofit organization fostering an appreciation for contemporary poetry and supporting American poets. The organization produces Poets.org, the world's largest publicly-funded website for poets and poetry; National Poetry Month; the popular Poem-a-Day series; American Poets magazine; Teach This Poem and other resources for K-12 educators; an annual series of poetry readings and special events; and awards the American Poets Prizes. The organization also coordinates the work of a national Poetry Coalition working to promote the value poets bring to our culture and the important contribution poetry makes in the lives of people of all ages and backgrounds.

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