Friday, February 26, 2021

"Poetry for Everyone" Panel + "Dear Poet" Project for Kids

"Poetry for Everyone" Panel

Earlier this month I was honored to be part of a panel sponsored by the Irving (TX) Public Library as part of their Big Read celebration. This "Poetry for Everyone" panel included an amazing line up: Naomi Shihab Nye, Padma Venkatraman, Joaquin Zihuatenejo, Karla K. Morton and was moderated by Samantha Mabry. It was recorded and is now available for the public. It's a fun mix of personal sharing, poem readings, and advice for writers. Check it out!

"Dear Poet" Project
The Academy of American Poets sponsors a "Dear Poet" writing contest for children and young adults in grades 5 through 12 in celebration of upcoming National Poetry Month. Here are the details:

"Teachers and librarians, 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.

Students are encouraged to watch the 21 newly-released "Dear Poet" videos, write letters in response to the poems, and send their letters to by April 30. Selected letters will be published on, one of the most visited sites for poetry on the web, and shared on social media during the twenty-fifth anniversary of National Poetry Month this April.

“As we’ve seen from the response to Amanda Gorman's recitation at the Presidential Inauguration, poets are important figures in contemporary culture. The Dear Poet project provides students with an opportunity to learn about some of the leading poets writing today, to read their work and respond to their work through letter writing. Selected students will even receive a personal response from their poet! As many students continue their studies at home for the next few months, we encourage them to be a part of this great project,” said Dr. Madeleine Fuchs Holzer, the Academy of American Poets Educator in Residence.

For additional resources to assist with the project, read an essay about Dear Poet and check out one high school’s past participation in the project. For some examples of student letters, visit last year’s Dear Poet page."

Now, head on over to Karen Edmisten's blog where she is hosting all our Poetry Friday posts this week here.


Linda Mitchell said...

Very cool! I'm leading a poetry project in my school. I will investigate how to incorporate Dear Poet into our April celebration. Thank you so much!

Linda Mitchell said...

Sylvia, the links aren't accessible to me...are there public links?

Linda said...

I love the idea of the "Dear Poet" project. I look forward to watching the videos and reading some of the letters.

Kay said...

What fabulous projects!

Linda B said...

This sounds wonderful, Sylvia. I will share with former colleagues! Thank you!

Karen Edmisten said...

I can't get through on the links, either. If there's a public link, I can't wait to check it out!

jan godown annino said...

This "Dear Poet" event is an enriching project & I like to imagine that it may touch a future Amanda Gorman or Armand Gorman, for that matter. So much good sharing of poetry for students. And their teachers. And families.


Ruth said...

The American Academy of Poets does so many cool things!

Sylvia Vardell said...

I apologize for the dead links! I've updated the "Dear Poet" links now. Somehow, the video seems to be private now. Sorry! I'll keep checking on that and update, if possible. Thanks for stopping by and alerting me to these issues.