In the spirit of Rainer Maria Rilke‘s Letters to a Young Poet, in which Rilke replies to letters from a young military cadet and aspiring poet asking for his advice, the Academy of American Poets is inviting students to engage with poetry by handwriting letters to some of the poets who serve on the Academy’s Board of Chancellors. Please share the information below with the students in your community!
Any young person is encouraged to participate! Here’s how:
1) Read some of the poems written by the Academy’s Chancellors. Here are some suggested poems to read and respond to:
Latin & Soul by Victor Hernández Cruz
Cherry Blossoms by Toi Derricotte
Broadway by Mark Doty
You and I Belong in This Kitchen by Juan Felipe Herrera
A Hand by Jane Hirshfield
Famous by Naomi Shihab Nye
Nothing in That Drawer by Ron Padgett
This Bridge, Like Poetry, is Vertigo by Marie Ponsot
Comet Hyakutake by Arthur Sze
Fast-Speaking Woman by Anne Waldman
2) Compose a one to two page handwritten letter sharing your questions and thoughts about the poem with its author. (Be sure to include your age and grade, along with a return address if you hope to receive a response).
3) Send your letter to:Dear Poet Project c/o Academy of American Poets75 Maiden Lane, Suite 901
New York, NY 10038
Select letters may receive a reply from the poet and be featured on the Academy’s website, Poets.org!
- National Poetry Month 2013 ~ Student Posters (Amy) (hamy10.wordpress.com)
- April 1, 2013 – National Poetry Month (rhapsodyinbooks.wordpress.com)
- 30 Ways to Celebrate- Poets.org – Poetry, Poems, Bios & More (hcslearningcommons.org)