Around F.C.

Mason Student Recognized As One of US’s Premier Poets

The National Student Poets Program (NSPP) has announced its sixth class of youth poets. Five teenagers have been chosen from among thousands of award-winning poets to receive the country’s highest honor for youth poets presenting original work, including Falls Church native Annie Castillo, a junior at George Mason High School.

As the country’s students head back to school, Castillo will be heading to Washington, D.C. for her pinning ceremony at the Library of Congress on Thursday, August 31, attending a private workshop with 21st U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera and giving a public reading at the National Book Festival. These events kick off Castillo’s year of service as a National Student Poet. Castillo’s poetry often revolves around the complexity of adolescence, self-discovery, gender and nature.

“It is time to celebrate our National Student Poets — let them call out the now verses of America,” Herrera said. “Welcome these unique visionaries. They will journey through our cities and lands with their hearts and hands brimming with the new idea. Moving, calling out — tender lightning — lighting who we are. Bravo!”

To be considered as a National Student Poet, students must receive a medal from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. The National Student Poets Program is an initiative of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers.