The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers partnered to present the National Student Poets Program, the country’s highest honor for young poets (grades 10–11) presenting original work.
The Class of 2016 National Student Poets was appointed in Washington, D.C. on September 8, 2016, in an Appointment Ceremony that included a special guest speaker Q-Tip and a collaborative performance by alums from previous years of the Program to celebrate its fifth anniversary. Former First Lady Michelle Obama was moved to tears by the alums’ collaborative poem.
The poets enjoyed poetry master classes with Mark Doty and Edward Hirsch, met some of their heroes at the Dodge Poetry Festival, and were recognized on stage at Carnegie Hall during the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards National Ceremony. With generous support from the Aspen Institute, the National Student Poets participated in a seminar with other youth poets in conjunction with the Aspen Ideas Festival.
The poets embraced these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and shared their love of poetry with young and old alike vis-á-vis their community service projects, National Poetry Month events, and other public appearances.