Twenty-eight million American adults read poetry this year — the highest percentage of poetry readership in more than 15 years, according to a surveyof arts participation conducted by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the U.S. Census Bureau.
“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 postannouncing 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.
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Other notable increased readership groups include women, rural Americans and those with only some college education.
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“Young people are taking the opportunity outside class to continue pursuing and reading and engaging poetry, whether it be in print or through YouTube videos,” Green said. “They want it and then they’re replicating it; they’re starting to write their own poems.”
Link to the rest at PBS