Blog

The outpouring of messages in response to the inaugural poem, “One Today,” and the months I’ve spent on the road reading and lecturing, speak of the great potential and hunger for poetry in America.

In that spirit, I’ve dedicated this blog space to keep people connected to poetry, reshape how we think about the art by introducing more contemporary work, and inspire educators to foster new generations of poetry readers. We will have monthly contributors highlighting ways in which poetry occupies their lives and public consciousness, touches communities, and addresses issues of our times. Reaching back to poetry’s oral tradition, I hope this can be a place to sit around a virtual campfire and share our stories through poetry as an accessible, inclusive, and transformative part of our everyday lives.

May poets, teachers, and readers heed Blanco’s call for more poetry in our nation’s classrooms and for poetry’s greater presence on the American cultural landscape.
— Jennifer Benka, Executive Director, American Academy of Poets

Poetry Mixtape II

06.06.16 by Richard Blanco

Soneto XVII / Pablo Neruda “I think it’s beautiful to be bilingual and I think it opens up so much more to you. It’s a whole other world, a whole other experience.” …

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The Futures Our Poems Make

04.25.16 by Philip Metres

I’ve been carrying a letter for weeks, wanting to answer it, holding onto its truth, not wanting to let it go too quickly. A woman wrote to me after reading “Homing In,” …

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Literacy Changes Lives

02.17.16 by Michele Bellso

Can you imagine not being able to read your child a bedtime story? Or being able to read a menu in a restaurant? Or fill out a job application? Did you know …

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Revising Outrage

10.09.15 by Tarfia Faizullah

I’m a relentless reviser. I fuss and I fidget over everything, most of all poems. It is hard to leave it alone. It is hard to let it go. To do so, …

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The Unexpected Origins of Success

08.25.15 by Micah Towery

Someone—I forget who—pointed out that there was a lot of free paper. It was the mid-2000s, and professors were still transitioning to electronic submissions. At Binghamton University, undergrads got 75 free pages …

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Poetry and Friendship

07.10.15 by Ruth Behar

I think many of us dream of writing poetry when we are young. We try our hand at it a couple of times, amass pages in a notebook, and eventually find the …

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What Poetry Can Do

04.22.15 by Sarah Browning

Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the U.S. Department of Justice is wide and empty. The word “windswept” comes to mind. On January 23 of this year it was particularly cold—the sun shone …

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Poetry Mixtape

04.02.15 by Richard Blanco

1. Elizabeth Bishop’s Jerónimo’s House 2. Gold, Donald Hall 3. Full Fathom Five, Jackson Pollock 4. First Fig & Second Fig, Edna St. Vincent Millay 5. Iris, William Carlos Williams

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