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Seven EHS students recognized in “Dear Poet” letter-writing program

Aerial view of Kuhlman stadium with water tower in foreground.
Seven EHS students recognized in “Dear Poet” letter-writing program

Seven Edina High School students are being recognized for their participation in the American Academy of Poets’ “Dear Poet” letter-writing activity. “Dear Poet” is a multimedia education project that invites students in grades 5-12 to write letters in response to poems written and read by award-winning poets to celebrate National Poetry Month. 

Students choose a poet whose work they wish to read, analyze, and research. They then write a letter to that poet, engaging with their work. The poets read the letters and select some to respond to, sending a direct letter to the student, along with publishing the student’s letter on their websites.

“Our students choose among the featured contemporary poets, read a sampling of their work, and dig deeply into one poem. They synthesize close reading analysis with personal and real-world connections,” said Heidi Degener, English teacher at EHS. “The Dear Poet letters are read by the authors of the poems, which creates an interactive and authentic audience outside of the classroom.”

This past fall and winter, students from the Advanced Placement U.S. Literature and Language (APULL) class, who participated in April 2020, were informed that their chosen poet had written them a letter and that their work had been published on the poet’s website. The students are:

  • Elise Wallen-Friedmann, who wrote to Alicia Ostriker
  • Avery Barrett, who wrote to Forrest Gander
  • Aashna Kumar, who wrote to Marie Howe
  • Meaghan Kiely, who wrote to Linda Gregerson
  • Maria Linder, who wrote to Linda Gregerson
  • Caiya Wulf, who wrote to Kwame Dawes
  • Elizabeth Pfeiffer, who wrote to Molly Fisk

View the published letters to and from poets and students.