August 23, 2023

Kelly Forsythe,

Five Teens Selected for the Country's Most Prestigious Youth Poetry Honor

National Student Poets Program (NSPP) logo

Washington, DC—Five high school students from across the country have been chosen from among thousands of award-winning poets to serve for a year as National Student Poets, the nation’s highest honor for youth poets presenting original work.

The National Student Poets Program (NSPP) is a partnership of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, which presents the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the longest-running and most prestigious scholarship and recognition program for the country’s young artists and writers.

Representing five geographical regions of the nation, the 2023 National Student Poets are:

Jacqueline Flores (Southeast), Fort Meade Middle Senior High School, Zolfo Springs, FL.

Miles Hardingwood (Northeast), Hunter College High School, Brooklyn, NY.

Shangri-La Hou (Midwest), John Burroughs School, Saint Louis, MO.

Kallan McKinney (Southwest), Norman High School, Norman, OK.

Gabriella Miranda (West), Rowland Hall, Salt Lake City, UT.

National Student Poet Program 2022 winners
Photo (L to R): Jacqueline Flores (FL), Miles Hardingwood(NY), Shangri-La Hou (MO), Kallan McKinney (OK), and Gabriella Miranda (UT).

The National Student Poets were selected from students in grades 10-11 who collectively submitted more than 24,000 works in the 2023 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and received top honors in poetry. From this pool of National Medal recipients, 40 semi-finalists were identified as the most gifted young poets in their regions, based on their originality, technical skills, and personal voice, and were invited to submit additional poetry and performance videos to distinguished jurors for the final selection of the five National Student Poets.

The 2023 Student Poets will be appointed in Washington D.C this fall. The ceremony will feature commentary about the program’s community service successes, and individual readings by each incoming 2023 Student Poet. 

Crosby Kemper said, “The smart, engaging, imaginative poetry of these five young poets will be an inspiration to their peers and their elders as it has been to the judges and the IMLS. We are proud to present them to our country.”

Throughout the year, the Poets will serve as literary ambassadors and will share their passion for poetry, literacy, and the literary arts with their communities and throughout their regions. This will be done through activities that include service projects, workshops, and public readings. In addition, each Poet will receive a $5,000 academic award.

All student submissions in consideration for the National Student Poets Program are judged by literary luminaries and leaders in education and the arts based on exceptional creativity, dedication to craft, and promise. This year’s panel of jurors were:

Class of 2023 Jurors

Moncho Alvarado*, award-winning Cihuayollotl trans woman Xicanx poet.

Charity Blackwell, Senior Advisor of Arts and Culture at DC SCORES and the D.O.P.E (Director of Poetry Events) at Busboys and Poets.

Kinsale Drake, 2017 National Student Poet for the West, founder of Changing Wxman Collective & NDN Girls Book Club.

Juan Felipe Herrera*, 21st U.S. Poet Laureate.

Edward Hirsch*, poet and President of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Brett Fletcher Lauer, deputy director of the Poetry Society of America and poetry editor of A Public Space.

Yesenia Montilla, Afro-Latina poet and daughter of immigrants.

Amanda Moore, award-winning poet and teacher.

Lisa Olstein, John S. Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and Pushcart Prize-winning poet.

Nikay Paredes, Programs Director, Academy of American Poets.

*Returning juror

Regarding the Class of 2023, Christopher Wisniewski, Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, commented, “At its heart, the National Student Poets Program is about identifying exceptional young literary leaders and engaging diverse communities through poetry. This year’s National Student Poets bring compelling points of view and have already created bodies of work that demonstrate how poetry can challenge, engage, inspire, and unite. At the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, we are thrilled to support the work they will do around the country with libraries, museums, schools, and other partners.”

The National Student Poets Program has showcased the essential role of writing and the arts in academic and personal success for audiences across the country since its inception in 2011. The 60 National Student Poets have participated in community service projects, visiting more than one hundred cities, performing at more than eighty national poetry events, and mentoring hundreds of future poets. The Poets have traveled to libraries, museums, youth centers, reservations, and hospitals, and worked with military-connected youth, rural youth, and children with disabilities. They have performed their work numerous times at Lincoln Center and the White House, and with actor Bill Murray and Theater of War Productions.

To learn more about the impact and history of the NSPP, watch this short video and visit

The National Student Poets Program—a collaboration of the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers—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 program links the National Student Poets with audiences and neighborhood resources such as museums and libraries, and other community-anchor institutions and builds upon the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers' long-standing work with educators and creative teens through the prestigious Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. The program also receives additional funding from The Hearthland Foundation and the Academy of American Poets. More information on the NSPP can be found at

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, a nonprofit organization, identifies teenagers with exceptional artistic and literary talent and brings their remarkable work to a national audience through the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Founded in 1923, the Awards program is the longest-running, most prestigious initiative of its kind, having fostered the creativity and development of millions of young people through opportunities for recognition, exhibition, publication, and scholarships. During the past six years alone, students have submitted well over a million works of art and writing, and the program has provided more than $30 million in scholarships and awards for top participants. To learn more, visit