Celebrate National Poetry Month with Poems from The Telling Room


Teach writing and poetry with bestselling anthology A NEW LAND, using poems written by Maine’s own youth as inspiration for their peers as we celebrate the 25th Annual National Poetry Month.

 “...a collection of youth poetry that is both brave and radiant...These poems are vibrant and unforgettable...”

— Presidential Inaugural Poet Amanda Gorman

Bring these poems and multimedia educator toolkit into your classroom as schools across the state celebrate the 25th anniversary of National Poetry Month! We hope you'll join The Telling Room in our initiative to honor Maine’s youth voices by sharing this book with your students. 

One poet revisits the winding river in Cameroon where he grew up, another watches her younger brother grow into a Black man in the world, a third imagines the horror of a wildfire in the midst of climate change, and a fourth describes the joys and tribulations of teenage motherhood. The 30 poems here offer a stunning exploration of identity and a spectrum of American youth voices that make up their “new land."

A NEW LAND has been adopted and endorsed by the Maine Department of Education, Governor Janet T. Mills, Maine Humanities Council, Indigo Arts Alliance, Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance, New England Youth Identity Summit, and The Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center.

"An utterly moving collection of youth poetry that mirrors the face of America. Artfully arranged, these poems plumb a multitude of experiences ranging from migration and family separation, to race and gun violence, to first love and sexuality. Through these young poets' eyes we see the world, we too, wish to re-conceive alongside them; through their courage and honesty we navigate the social challenges they strive to re-write."

— Richard Blanco, Presidential Inaugural Poet, author of How to Love a Country

"A New Land introduces us to a generation of remarkable writers. In poems full of rich language and moving detail, we come to see suffering, love, and yearning through their eyes. I felt like a traveler seeing places for the first time, awakened to the possibility, power, and consequences of each moment we are given."

— Stuart Kestenbaum, Maine Poet Laureate, author of Only Now

“Poetry is powerful. It expands our horizons, enhances our senses, elevates our empathy and our connections with one another. These poems, as diverse as their authors, embody the beauty and power of our state from the pounding sea spray to the towering pines. As readers, we are invited to imagine hopeful beginnings, the roots of our identity, and the prospects for change. I encourage Maine students and teachers to enjoy the beauty and inspiration of A New Land, and then begin to write your own story.”

Governor Janet T. Mills



Share the ebook of A NEW LAND with your students to read along with at home! Download it here as a PDF or EPUB file, or contact us at publications@tellingroom.org to order physical copies in bulk. Educator discounts are available!


Join Maine's Poet Laureate Stuart Kestenbaum and twelve poets from A NEW LAND in conversation as they discuss their work and wordsmithing in the Voices of the Future podcast, available here.

Tune into The Telling Room on Soundcloud to hear twelve poets from A NEW LAND read their poems aloud in their own voices.


Each poem in A NEW LAND is accompanied by writing prompts to inspire your students! Writing prompts are included in the e-book edition of A NEW LAND, and can also be downloaded separately here.


Share these engaging readings and performances of poetry from A NEW LAND coming to life with your students!

Drop of Melanin and Blood: A Poem by Benedita Zalabantu

BENEDITA ZALABANTU . . . Poet/Performer
EGIDE FOXWORTH . . . Director
JACK ROHNER . . . Gaffer


Plastic Palaces: A Poem by Siri Pierce

SIRI PIERCE . . . Poet/Performer
BROOKE SAIAS . . . Director
MATTSON OGG . . . Composer
DEREK PIERCE . . . Additional Family Footage

Grendel's Mother Takes the Mic: A Poem by Lulu Rasor

LULU RASOR . . . Poet
SARAH CLARKE . . . Grendel’s Mother
MATT DELAMATER . . . Beowulf
ALEX COPPOLA . . . Camera Operator



Our authors would love to pop into your classroom for a virtual visit! If you would like one of our poets to drop in for a conversation on poetry and publishing, please reach out to us at: publications@tellingroom.org


Swap lesson plans for National Poetry Month and share resources with other educators across the state by sending yours to rylan@tellingroom.org. View lessons from other teachers in our shared folder here. 



"A New Land has arrived! Thank you so much! It's just gorgeous in every way! Such an honoring of voices and worlds. The Introduction by Amanda Gorman is perfect!"

— Naomi Shihab Nye, National Young People's Poet Laureate, author of Voices in the Air: Poems for Listeners, and The Tiny Journalist

"The voices in this collection of youth poetry are luminous with wisdom and electric with insight. A New Land allows us to travel into the brilliant future of American poetry. Don't be surprised when you find you don't want to go back."

— Cate Marvin, poet and author of Oracle

"Bold and truthful, these poems spread a smile on your face, relieve your overwhelming stress, and make you laugh from the heart. A New Land is important; it brings awareness and helps us to understand and appreciate youth experiences. Everybody, old and young, needs to have a chance to read this book."

— Kifah Abdulla, artist, poet, activist, soldier, POW, exile, teacher, performer, world citizen, and author of Mountains Without Peaks

"This is not a window on the world, but a collection of doorways to walk through, into new lands. These wonderful poets share their worlds with us, make our worlds larger, richer, more diverse, more informed. Reading these poems will put you on a path to citizenship of the heart."

— Gary Lawless, poet, bookseller, editor, publisher, and author of In Ruins

"This is a breathtaking collection of literature that captures the vibrant spirit of youth voices, as it chooses to narrate itself authentically. A New Land dares its readers to ask themselves, 'What about a memory can spark a muse if our lives were only told by a collection of poems?'"

— Nyamuon-Nguany Machar, poet, spoken word artist, and youth educator