President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities Institute of Museum and Library Services Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

Meet the Class of 2016 National Student Poets

First Lady Michelle Obama hosts a poetry reading in honor of the 2016 National Student Poets, from left: Maya Salameh, Joey Reisberg, Gopal Raman, Maya Eashwaran and Stella Binion in the State Dining Room of the White House on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016 in Washington. (Kevin Wolf/AP Images for Alliance for Young Artists & Writers)
First Lady Michelle Obama hosts a poetry reading in honor of the 2016 National Student Poets, from left: Maya Salameh, Joey Reisberg, Gopal Raman, Maya Eashwaran and Stella Binion in the State Dining Room of the White House on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016 in Washington. (Kevin Wolf/AP Images for Alliance for Young Artists & Writers)

The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers partner to present the National Student Poets Program, the country’s highest honor for young poets (grades 10–11) presenting original work. We are thrilled to introduce the Class of 2016 National Student Poets, who were appointed in Washington, D.C. on September 8!


Stella Binion
Age 17
Walter Payton College Prep
Chicago, IL
Midwest Region

Maya Eashwaran
Age 17
Milton High School
Alpharetta, GA
Southeast Region

Gopal Raman
Age 17
St. Mark’s School of Texas
Dallas, TX
Southwest Region

Joey Reisberg
Age 17
George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology
Towson, MD
Northeast Region

Maya Salameh
Age 16
San Diego High School of International Studies
San Diego, CA
West Region

About the National Student Poets Program

Annually, five students are selected for one year of service as literary ambassadors, each representing a different geographic region of the country. By elevating and showcasing their work for a national audience, the program strives to inspire other young people to achieve excellence in their own creative endeavors and promote the essential role of writing and the arts in academic and personal success.

The National Student Poets Program reflects the national imprimatur of the President’s Committee and its Honorary Chairman, First Lady Michelle Obama, as well as the Administration’s commitment to arts and humanities education. It connects the National Student Poets with audiences and resources in their communities through the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ community-based network of libraries and museums and builds upon the Alliance’s long-standing work with educators and creative teens through the prestigious Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

To keep up with the National Student Poets, like the official Facebook page.