Poetry News

PBS NewsHour on Poetry's Comeback

By Harriet Staff
National Endowment for the Arts, logo

Jennifer Hijazi discusses the results of the NEA's recent survey, which revealed that poetry is being read and written by Americans at record rates, in an article published at PBS NewsHour. "Twenty-eight million American adults read poetry this year," Hijazi notes, "the highest percentage of poetry readership in more than 15 years, according to a survey of arts participation conducted by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the U.S. Census Bureau." From there: 

“We’ve never seen an increase in poetry reading. If anything there had been a decline — a pretty sharp decline — since about 2002 at least,” said Sunil Iyengar, NEA director of research and analysis.

Iyengar, author of the blog post announcing the poetry data, said these numbers are “quite remarkable.” And while the full arts participation report won’t be released until later this year, he said these results were too significant not to share early.

Young adults and certain racial ethnic groups account for a large portion of the increase. U.S. poetry readers aged 18 to 24 more than doubled, jumping from 8 percent in 2012 to 17 percent in 2017. Among people of color, African Americans and Asian Americans are reading poetry at the highest rates — which more than doubled in the last five years — up 15 and 12 percent, respectively.

Read on at NewsHour.

Originally Published: July 11th, 2018