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National Student Poets Program
The National Student Poets Program is the nation’s highest honor for youth poets presenting original work. This partnership between IMLS and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers recognizes student poets’ achievements at the national level and highlights the importance of literacy.
Each year, a national panel of literary luminaries selects five National Student Poets from gold and silver national medalists in the poetry category of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. The young poets, nominated while in grades 10 and 11, are appointed at a special ceremony in August in Washington, DC. During their year of service, the poets lead readings and workshops at libraries, museums, and schools, and participate in a range of regional literary and arts events.
The 2018 poets represent five different regions of the nation:
Darius Atefat-Peckham, Grade 12, Interlochen Arts Academy, Michigan (Midwest)
Daniel Blokh, Grade 12, Alabama School of Fine Arts, Alabama (Southeast)
Alexandra Contreras-Montesano, Grade 12, Burlington High School, Vermont (Northeast)
Heather Laurel Jensen, Grade 11, Red Mountain High School, Arizona (Southwest)
Ariana Smith, Grade 12, Las Vegas Academy of the Arts, Nevada (West)