Dear Poet Competition
Every National Poetry Month we present Dear Poet, a multimedia education project that invites young people in grades five through twelve to write letters in response to poems written and read by award-winning poets, including poets who serve on the Academy of American Poets Board of Chancellors and who have received our Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowships.
Read one of the poems below/ watch their reading of it on our website:
- 'Speaking Tree' by US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo
- 'Hospital in Oregon' by Marilyn Chin
- 'Trickster III' by Kwame Dawes
- 'Lava' or 'Moon' by Forrest Gander
- 'With Emma at the Ladies-Only Swimming Pond on Hampstead Heath' by Linda Gregerson
- 'The Late Cold War' by Brenda Hillman
- 'Singularity' by Marie Howe
- "Beatitudes" by Khaled Mattawa
- "Pickup" by Alicia Ostriker
- "Nani" by Alberto Ríos
- "Iris" by David St. John
- "Providence" by Natasha Trethewey
- "Asi" by Claudia Castro Luna
- "Safety" by Grace Cavalieri
- "Summer Lightning" by Molly Fisk
And many more, you can look on the website for the rest. A lot of the poets are State Poet Laureates or Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets.
Then, write the poet a letter in response to their reading-ask the poet questions about the poem, their voice as a writer, and what the poem made you think about.
Make sure to include the following: your name, the name of the poet to whom you've written, your grade level, and your school and teacher's name (when applicable).
Send your letter by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
We will consider all letters for publication on Poets.org after National Poetry Month, and the participating poets will reply to select letters of their choosing.