NEW YORK (AP) — Five high school students from Florida to Utah have been selected as this year’s National Student Poets, a program founded more than a decade ago. Each winner represents a different region in the country, and brings their own distinctive background and perspective.
The student poets, each of whom receive $5,000, will help oversee workshops, readings and other activities. Previous poets have appeared at the White House and Lincoln Center among other venues.
Kallan McKinney is a queer and trans poet from Norman, Oklahoma, who uses writing to explore identity and communication. Gabriella Miranda, a rising high school senior in Salt Lake City, credits her passion for words to her visits to the library and the bedtime stories her family read to her. The high school student representing the Midwest, Shangri-La Hou of St. Louis, has a strong affinity for the natural world.
Brooklyn resident Miles Hardingwood has read poetry throughout New York City and hopes his work will help create social change. Jacqueline Flores, currently attending Fort Meade Middle Senior High School in Zolfo Springs, Florida, believes poetry can help make more visible the lives of her fellow Mexican Americans.
The National Student Poets Program is a partnership of the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, presenter of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, from which the winning poets were selected.
“The smart, engaging, imaginative poetry of these five young poets will be an inspiration to their peers and their elders as it has been to the judges and the IMLS. We are proud to present them to our country,” Crosby Kemper, director of the museum and library institute, said in a statement Wednesday.
This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Shangri-La Hou.