Emma Lazarus

1849–1887
Emma Lazarus

Emma Lazarus was born in New York City to a wealthy family and educated by private tutors. She began writing poetry as a teenager and took up the cause — through both poetry and prose — against the persecution of Jews in Russia during the 1880s. Lines from her sonnet “The New Colossus” were engraved on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty in 1903, memorializing the famous lines, “Give me your tired, your poor,/Your huddled masses....”

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"Something that I learned from Poetry Out Loud that surprised me is how connected I feel with the poems I have recited. I never expected to have such a great love of poetry and I know that is something that will never go away because of this amazing experience."
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2015 DE POL Champion