The Gift of Poetry

Dear Friend,

At the PSA, we believe in the incandescent power of poetry—how it can inspire, console, break us open, heal, ignite, and palpably change us. That's why our Visiting Poets Program at Harlem Academy means so much to us.

Support the Visiting Poets Program Today

Harlem Academy prepares bright, motivated students from underserved communities, whose potential might otherwise go unrealized, for success at top secondary schools and lifelong learning. The school guides students to thrive at the highest academic levels and contribute to their community, so they can one day make a mark on the world.

Our Harlem Academy Visiting Poets Program annually places a diverse cohort of five excellent, contemporary poets in the school's 6th, 7th, and 8th grade classes, as well as the poetry club, where they provide inspiration, mentorship, and curriculum crafted especially for each group, with classes dedicated to composition, revision, and performance.

Through the Harlem Academy Visiting Poets Program, students have written poems inspired by images and objects with Ama Codjoe, explored the power and playfulness of concrete nouns with Geoffrey Nutter and the endless possibilities of metaphor with Samantha Thornhill. They've read Robert Hayden with Patrick Phillips and Gwendolyn Brooks with Camille Rankine, and they have compared the freedom of writing in and without strict forms with Rachel Zucker.

This past spring, Jacqueline Woodson, our PSA benefit honoree, chose twelve poems in a New York citywide (and tri-state area) contest in which we challenged middle and high schoolers to write poems in response to the Dale Chihuly glass sculptures featured in an exhibit on the garden grounds.

Of the twelve winners, four are Harlem Academy students, and their winning poems have been displayed on seven foot high metal placards up at the garden since June!

Please join us and give the gift of poetry today.

Alice Quinn
Executive Director