Darius Atefat-Peckham named a National Student Poet

Interlochen Arts Academy senior Darius Atefat-Peckham has been named one of the five best young poets in the United States by the National Student Poets Program.

The National Student Poets Program is the nation’s highest honor for high school poets. Each year, the Program selects five young poets to serve as literary ambassadors. Each National Student Poet represents a different geographic region of the country: Atefat-Peckham, a native of Huntington, West Virginia, will be representing the Midwest.

“Darius is not only a very fine poet, he's a writer with a terrific work ethic,” said Interlochen Arts Academy Instructor of Poetry Brittany Cavallaro. “The time and care he puts into his poems is unparalleled. His work has a lyric maturity that belies his age, and he has a tremendous ear for music and language. We're all so proud of him, and are thrilled that he'll be able to share his work with a national audience through the National Student Poets Program!”

The National Student Poets Program (NSPP) serves as the country’s highest honor for young poets in grades 10 and 11 presenting original work. The National Student Poets Program in an initiative through a partnership between the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the nation’s primary source of federal funding for museums and libraries, and the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, which presents the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

The five National Student Poets each receive an academic award and opportunities to showcase their work at events throughout their 2018-19 year of service. Atefat-Peckman’s tenure begins on Aug. 30, 2018, when he and his fellow poets will be appointed at a special ceremony in Washington D.C. at the Library of Congress.

In the spring of 2018, Atefat-Peckham received the third place award for poetry in the Bennington Young Writers Awards through Bennington College. He was also recognized as an American Voices and Visions nominee in the 2018 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Atefat-Peckham’s work has also appeared in or is forthcoming in The Texas Review, Brevity, The American Journal of Poetry, and Rattle, among others. His works will also appear in the following anthologies: “Other Voices International Project Anthology”; “Iran Musings: Stories and Memories from the Iranian Diaspora”; and “Persian Sugar and English Tea, Vol. II.” Atefat-Peckham also serves on the editorial teams of Interlochen Arts Academy’s two literary magazines, The Red Wheelbarrow and The Interlochen Review.

Since 2012, two of the 30 members of the National Student Poets Program’s cohort have been Interlochen Arts Academy students, with Atefat-Peckham joining fellow Interlochen alumni and Class of 2013 honoree Sojourner Ahebee.

See the press release to learn more about the National Student Poets program, honors and the selection process.

“Jackie Wilson: Funny” by Darius Atefat-Peckham

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