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The White House
Office of the First Lady
For Immediate Release

First Lady Michelle Obama to Honor 2016 National Student Poets

Thursday, September 8th

The White House * 1:00PM ET – First Lady Michelle Obama will welcome the fifth annual class of the National Student Poets Program to the White House. The Kennedy Center's Artistic Director for Hip-Hop Culture, Q-Tip, will be featured at this year's poetry reading.

For the past five years, Mrs. Obama has joined the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities (PCAH) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to honor the top student poets in the country. Since its inception in 2011, the National Student Poets Program has showcased the essential role of writing and the arts in academic and personal success for audiences across the country. In addition, the First Lady will recognize the first class of the Spoken Word Ambassador Program, which was established to recognize students who demonstrate an exceptional ability to tell stories, to critically and creatively analyze their worlds, and to present that information in a way that is accessible to large and diverse audiences.

Representing five different regions of the nation, the 2016 National Student Poets are:

  • Stella Binion, Chicago, IL (Midwest Region)
  • Maya Eashwaran, Alpharetta, GA (Southeast Region)
  • Gopal Raman, Dallas, TX (Southwest Region)
  • Joey Reisberg, Towson, MD (Northeast Region)
  • Maya Salameh, San Diego, CA (West Region)

To learn more about the National Student Poets Program, visit