‘Small Kindnesses’: A Collaborative Poem by Teenagers From Around the World

By Danusha Lameris and The Learning Network

After more than 1,300 teenagers told us about the small kindnesses they appreciate, the poet Danusha Laméris wove their answers into verse.

In early April, as part of our celebration of National Poetry Month, we invited teenagers to read “Small Kindnesses,” a work by Danusha Laméris that appeared in The New York Times Magazine’s Poem column. Then we asked, What small kindnesses do you appreciate?

Over 1,300 young people responded in the spirit of the original piece, detailing sweet, fleeting gestures their fellow humans have offered them — on the street, in algebra class, on public transportation, in Starbucks and Walmart, on the internet, at work and at home.

What is Poetry?

By Elisa Gabbert

April is National Poetry Month, and this week we revive an old tradition by devoting an entire issue to the form. But first we ask a very basic question: What is poetry, anyway? There’s no simple answer, as our columnist Elisa Gabbert explains in an essay that probes and celebrates that very ambiguity. “The poem is a vessel,” she writes; “poetry is liquid.”

Illustration by Na Kim

Lucy Calkins with Penny and Kelly

Day 11 April 5 2022

Lucy Calkins joins [Penny Kittle and Kelly Gallagher] to talk about the origins of her career, her relationship with icons Donald Murray and Don Graves, and her continual revision of her writing and thinking.