US First Lady Michelle Obama would welcome the budding poets, including Indian-Americans Maya Eashwaran and Gopal Raman, at the White House on September 8, an official announcement said.
Eashwaran (17) is from Alpharetta in Georgia and Raman is from Dallas in Texas. The other three are Stella Binion from Chicago, Joey Reisberg from Towson in Maryland and Maya Salameh from San Diego in California.
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.
Each year, the five National Student Poets are chosen from a pool of outstanding writers, grades 9-11, who have received a national Scholastic Art and Writing Award for poetry.
A first generation Indian-American, Eashwaran writes about foreigners, often incorporating personal experiences dealing with assimilation in the modern age. For Raman, a senior at St Mark's School of Texas, poetry distills images and emotions into a form that brings people together.
He cites poets like Billy Collins, Wallace Stevens, and Walt Whitman as his inspirations. This is the first time that Indian Americans have made it to the prestigious program.