Executive Director, Academy of American Poets
Jennifer Benka is the executive director of the Academy of American Poets, the largest member-supported organization in the U.S. championing poets and poetry. In addition to its popular website Poets.org, the organization founded National Poetry Month in 1996. It also produces free educational resources for K-12 teachers, and the digital series, Poem-a-Day. Jen has served national organizations dedicated to writing and poetry for much of her more than 20 years in nonprofit management, including senior positions at 826 National and Poets & Writers, and speaks frequently on panels and to the media about poetry and the nonprofit literary arts. Jen is also the author of the poetry collections Pinko (Hanging Loose Press) and A Box of Longing With Fifty Drawers (Soft Skull Press). She holds a BA degree in Journalism from Marquette University and an MFA degree in poetry from The New School.