Five high school juniors, residing everywhere from Lake Worth, Fla., to Saratoga, Calif., have been named National Student Poets.
A partnership between the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, the student poet program was launched in 2011, with winners contributing to community programs and poetry events and performing their work everywhere from Lincoln Center to the White House. Winning applicants each represent a different region and are chosen based on creativity, dedication and promise.
This year's poets are Madelyn Dietz, from St. Paul; Isabella Ramirez, from Lake Worth; Ethan Wang, from Katy, Texas; Manasi Garg, from Saratoga; and Anthony Wiles, from Sewickley, Pa. Each receives a $5,000 cash award.
"Now more than ever, we look to a rising generation of creative leaders to demonstrate the power that poetry and the literary arts have to inspire, galvanize, and unite communities," Christopher Wisniewski, executive director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, said in a statement Wednesday. "We are excited to work with these five exceptional teens to engage museums, libraries, and schools in the year ahead, and we are eager to see all that they will accomplish."
The final five were selected from more than 20,000 submissions, reviewed by a panel that included former U.S. poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera and such fellow poets as Edward Hirsch, Danez Smith and Arthur Sye.
You can hear Dietz discussing her work with MPR News host Tom Crann and reciting one of her poems using the audio player above.
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