Five Questions for National Student Poet Michaela Coplen | Kids VT | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Five Questions for National Student Poet Michaela Coplen 

Published April 10, 2014 at 7:55 a.m.

  • National Student Poets Program

Pennsylvania high school senior Michaela Coplen holds the title of National Student Poet, an honor presented annually to five young wordsmiths chosen from a pool of national medalists in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards who show creativity, dedication to the craft and promise.

As part of her duties, Coplen travels around the Northeast as a poetry ambassador, doing workshops and readings. The Vermont Humanities Council and Vermont Arts Council are co-hosting a two-day visit by Coplen this Thursday and Friday.

Her schedule is packed with events, including a workshop with women at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility in South Burlington and visits to Edmunds Middle School in Burlington and Montpelier High School. She'll also give the morning devotional in the State House Chambers on Friday morning and do a short reading before Vermont poet laureate Sydney Lea's appearance at Vermont College of Fine Arts as part of Montpelier's PoemCity celebration on Friday evening. The latter two events are open to the public.

Kids VT asked Coplen about how she became a National Student Poet and what advice she’d give to budding Whitmans and Angelous.

What got you into poetry?

It’s been an interesting journey. My mom started reading me poetry very young as bedtime stories. I also started writing poetry at a young age but I started getting away from it when poetry was taught in school. It felt inaccessible.

I’m a military child so sometimes, when you move around a lot, it’s difficult to hold on to places that you've left. I started writing poetry freshman or sophomore year as personal memoir from the lens of trying to encapsulate or share an experience in a poem.

This article was originally published in Seven Days' monthly parenting magazine, Kids VT.

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About The Author

Alison Novak

Alison Novak

Alison is the former managing editor at Kids VT, Seven Days' parenting publication and writes about education for Seven Days.


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