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

I’m a Flame You Can’t Put Out

06.24.14 by Jessica Drench

“I am the beginning of many ideas. / I am the open-minded sparrow that accepts anything with open wings,” writes poet Max Schiewe-Weliky, age 11. Max was one of 43 fifth grade …

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How Poetry Can Strengthen Democracy

04.21.14 by Roland Legiardi-Laura

“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free…it expects what never was and never will be.” Thomas Jefferson The World Factbook, published annually by the CIA, lists literacy attainment in the …

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Permission to Make Noise

03.17.14 by Rachel McKibbens

I want to tell you a fairytale. But before I start, I have to explain a few things. In 2011, I went on my first cross-country poetry tour.  I spent nine weeks …

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Don’t Forget Us

02.15.14 by Spencer Reece

In 2012, I lived and worked with 72 orphaned girls at Our Little Roses, the only all-girl orphanage in Honduras, in San Pedro Sula, the current murder capital of the world. Girls …

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Welcome to One Today

10.25.13 by Richard Blanco

The community response following my performance at the 2103 inauguration was profound and incredibly moving. Thousands of emails, letter, drawings and videos came pouring in. That response was the inspiration behind creating …

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