25th Anniversary of National Poetry Month - National Council of Teachers of English
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25th Anniversary of National Poetry Month

The Academy of American Poets is celebrating the twenty-fifth year of National Poetry Month. How can you celebrate?

The Academy of American Poets invited students in grades nine through twelve to submit artwork that incorporated line(s) from the poem “For Keeps” by current US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo and that reflected a celebration of the art of poetry for this year’s poster contest. Ask your students to do the same!

The poet laureate of the United States is appointed annually by the Librarian of Congress. Over the course of their term, the US poet laureate presents readings and lectures at the Library of Congress and often engages in poetry projects with national reach. The current laureate, Joy Harjo, has named her project “Living Nations, Living Words.” This is a project featuring a sampling of work by 47 Native Nations poets through an interactive Story Map and a newly developed Library of Congress audio collection.

How else can you celebrate National Poetry Month?

Explore the Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature, which contains over 2,000 audio recordings of celebrated poets and writers participating in literary events at the Library of Congress, along with sessions recorded in the Recording Laboratory in the Library’s Jefferson Building, dating back to 1943.

Read 180 poems through Billy Collins’ Poetry 180 laureate project. Launched in 2002, Poetry 180 was designed to give high school students a chance to listen to or read a poem on each of the 180 days of the school year. Stay tuned for registration for a summer event with Billy Collins. 

Watch poets like Marilyn Chin, Willie Perdomo, and Rita Dove speaking and performing. 

We hope you enjoy poetry this month and throughout the year!


Curious about the NCTE and Library of Congress connection? Through a grant announced recently by NCTE Executive Director Emily Kirkpatrick, NCTE is engaged in new ongoing work with the Library of Congress, and “will connect the ELA community with the Library of Congress to expand the use of primary sources in teaching.” Stay tuned for more throughout the year!

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