In April 1996, the Academy of American Poets launched National Poetry Month to remind the community that poets have an integral role to play in our culture. After 25 years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world. Readers, students, teachers, librarians, booksellers, publishers, and, of course, poets, come together to mark poetry’s important place in all of our lives. Poetry opens the door to be seen, and brings forth a powerful voice to be heard. We learn
Art and literature have always played a role in shaping the history of our civilization and culture. So, it’s interesting that the inclusion of poetry at a presidential inauguration has happened only recently. Only three presidents – John F. Kennedy in 1961, Bill Clinton in 1993 and 1997, and Barack Obama in 2009 and 2013 – have had poets read at their inaugurations. These three presidents were known for their appreciation of reading and literature, so it makes perfect sense.