Pay In Forward With Poetry

This April, the Academy of American Poets — the founder of National Poetry Month — is partnering with 826 Valencia to highlight the work of regional poets. In return, the poets will share their talents with students.

San Francisco’s Dean Rader has been chosen by 826 Valencia to inaugurate the initiative “Read This Poem” by writing an essay about a poem by a fellow Bay Area poet. That poet will then select work by another local poet and write about it, beginning a string of connections.

Dean Rader will inaugurate “Read This Poem” by writing an essay about a poem by a fellow Bay Area poet. (Photo by Jill Ramsey)

Poets taking part in “Read This Poem” must agree to take a pledge of service to their local 826 chapter within a year, either by hosting a reading, teaching a workshop or participating in an in-school project. The initiative grew out of “The McSweeney’s Book of Poets Picking Poets.” Other chapters of the nonprofit youth writing and literacy center, cofounded by Dave Eggers, are joining in the initiative in Ann Arbor/Detroit, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City and Washington, D.C.

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