This fall, 120 students will return to Harlem Academy, a New York City independent school that prepares bright, motivated students from under-served communities, whose potential might otherwise go unrealized, for success at top secondary schools and lifelong learning.
For the past five years, the Poetry Society of America has partnered with Harlem Academy to create a Visiting Poets Program which 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.
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. Nothing puts this belief to use more than our Visiting Poets Program at Harlem Academy.
Through the 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.
We at the PSA feel honored to have witnessed this program develop into an important part of the curriculum at Harlem Academy. The annual cost of this program is small yet the impact it has on students is immeasurable. Please join us today as a friend of the Visiting Poets Program at Harlem Academy and help us continue to empower students at this remarkable school.
With great thanks,