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Home > About > News and Events > News > Field News > PCAH Launches National Student Poets Program

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PCAH Launches National Student Poets Program

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Nov 21, 2011

The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) have partnered with the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers to create the National Student Poets Program, the country’s highest honor for youth poets whose original work exhibits exceptional creativity, dedication to craft, and promise. Five outstanding high school poets will be selected annually for a year of service as literary ambassadors for poetry, encouraging a wide range of youth to explore and develop new creative capabilities.

The National Student Poets Program draws on the expertise of each partner, reflecting the national imprimatur of the President’s Committee, IMLS’s community-based network of libraries and museums that will link the national student poets with audiences and resources in their neighborhoods, and the Alliance’s long-standing work with educators and creative teens through the prestigious Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Each year, the five National Student Poets will be chosen from a pool of outstanding writers, grades 9-11, who have received a national Scholastic Art & Writing Award for poetry. A national panel of literary luminaries, including Poet Terrance Hayes, Kenyon Review Editor David Lynn, Alice Quinn, Executive Director of the Poetry Society of America, and Robert Casper, Head of the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress, will evaluate and select the National Student Poets.

"This is a wonderful extension of our work documenting and promoting the benefits of arts education for all our country’s children," said Rachel Goslins, Executive Director of the PCAH. "As the data consistently shows, students who are engaged with the arts do better in school and in life. We can think of no better way to demonstrate these benefits than by engaging a class of talented and promising student poets to work with their peers and lead by example."

"We are honored that the National Student Poets Program will offer the creative young people who participate in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards yet another opportunity to learn about and advocate for the importance of the literary and creative arts," said Virginia McEnerney, Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. "The National Student Poets' work will give greater visibility to the voice and perspective of today’s youth."

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