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

The Real Work

02.26.15 by Gibson Fay-Leblanc

I was going to use this space to write something wise about fatherhood and poetry—maybe about how being a dad to two young boys has made me more aware (sometimes painfully so) …

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Cuba Reading List 2.0

02.03.15 by Richard Blanco

Since last month, I’ve been collecting book recommendations on my Facebook page as a way to broadcast a better understanding of all things Cuban. Here‘s the list—all in one place for all …

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Underground Education

01.24.15 by Laura Emiko Soltis

My name is Emiko and I teach undocumented students at an underground freedom school in Atlanta, Georgia. Underground schools exist in the United States because providing higher education to undocumented students, especially …

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What This Poet’s Body Knows

11.03.14 by Kwame Dawes

Besides, They’ll see how beautiful I am And be ashamed— “I, Too”, Langston Hughes 1 A year ago, I was fifteen pounds lighter than I am today, but then I was living …

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The Prince of Los Cocuyos Excerpt

09.22.14 by Richard Blanco

When we moved to Miami, Abuela became a bookie for La bolita, an illegal numbers racket run by Cuban mafiosos. She took bets all day long, recording them on a yellow legal …

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America Never Was America to Me

08.26.14 by Wendy Willis

There are precious few grand marshals in white suits in Ferguson, Missouri, this month. But the city is marching, and all eyes are upon it. Just in case you’ve been living in …

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Why Wall Poems?

07.18.14 by Amy Bagwell

Propelled by the 101 Leiden Walls in the Netherlands, Graham Carew and I started The Wall Poems of Charlotte last year. It’s a mural project bringing poems to our city’s walls and …

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