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National Student Poets Meet First Lady Michelle Obama

Poetry can take you places.

Five students from across the United States learned that their flair for writing poems got them winning slots in 2014′s National Student Poets Program. This honor earns them scholarships, a chance to read their work at events all year, and even a trip to the White House.

This year’s winners are Sojourner Ahebee, 17, Michaela Coplen, 17, Nathan Cummings, 18, Aline Dolinh, 15, and Louis Lafair, 18.They represent Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington State, respectively.

michelle-obama-poetsThe program is a partnership of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, born out of a poetry workshop First Lady Michelle Obama held at the White House. A definite perk of the award was the winners’ chance to meet Mrs. Obama in the White House’s Diplomatic Reception Room on Sept. 20.

You can download the National Student Poet Program Chapbook here, and I’d recommend it if you’d like to inspire any young language lovers in your life. As a longtime teacher of college students, many of whom don’t like to write because they have only had negative experiences with writing in school, it makes me so happy to see students recognized for excellence in this area, but even more to read how much they love what they do. Let’s meet Sojourner, Michaela, Nathan, Aline, and Louis, and some of their poetic role models and inspirations.

Image credit: Facebook, Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson

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