The Washington Post

Young poetry lovers are encouraged to write letters to poets


KidsPost’s annual poetry contest is officially closed. Judges are frantically reading hundreds of poems, and we’ll reveal our winners on April 21 as part of the celebration of National Poetry Month.

If you love poems and want another way to celebrate, the Academy of American Poets has a great idea. (The Academy created National Poetry Month in 1996.)

This year, the group has come up with the “Dear Poet” project, encouraging kids to write letters to poets and share their thoughts about the poet’s poems. Some of the letters will be featured on the Academy’s Web site, and some of the writers may get responses from the poets.

The project is aimed mainly at kids in grades seven through 11, but it is open to kids of all ages. Letters need to be handwritten, not typed. To get advice on writing your letter and finding out where to send it, go to www.­ As always, ask permission from a parent, teacher or other adult before going online.

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