#TeacherPoets Session Two

#TeacherPoets Session Two

by Christopher Lehman (@iChrisLehman), The Educator Collaborative Founding Director


Hi TeacherPoets!

Last Saturday was a blast! If you missed our first session you can view the archive here.

Our second live session of the season is this Saturday (4/18) from 11:00-noon EST. Join our Google+ page to join in the conversation that has already started. Then tune in to the live stream this Saturday from that page (or the direct stream below), tweet along to interact with us using #TeacherPoets.


Assignment for Week 2: Tell It Like It Is Not

During our first live streaming session we talked about just saying it already. How part of writing poetry is being brave for ourselves but a larger part is being clear for our readers.

Here are your writing assignments for this week!

 A Writing Invitation: Tell It Like It Is

  • Use the “Tell It Like It Is” strategy from last week to write a draft (or drafts) of an original poem. Then share your work on our TeacherPoets Google+ page.

Mentor poems to read:

  1. Don’t You Wonder, Sometimes? Tracy K Smith, who is specific and clear but also magical in metaphors
  2. Jet by Tony Hoagland, who sets the scene clearly and then takes us on a surprising journey
  3. You’re invited to post on our TeacherPoets Google+ page links to other poems that come right out and tell you what they are about, but then play with language

Workshopping This Week:

Yay! The best part! We will be workshopping drafts of two original poems by our TeacherPoets!

  • Please follow the link and print out these two poems (or download a mark-up-able copy to your device):
  • Read and write all over them, prepare comments as if you were talking to this poet:
    • Compliments: Which parts were particularly strong to you? Why? How did it effect you as a reader? Where were you delighted? Happily surprised? Moved? And so on.
    • Questions: Where did you find yourself confused? Lost? Where did your reading become choppy or confused? Which points did you want a little bit more? A little less?
    • ConsiderationsWe can’t write the poem, that is the poet’s task, however we can raise considerations: I wonder if there are actually two poems here…  I wonder if we could hear more from… I wonder if the second stanza could… I wonder…
  • On Saturday we will then practice “workshopping” this poem, so bring your written-all-over copy. Use #TeacherPoets during our session to share your reflections!

If you would like to read an example of responding to a poem through “workshopping,” then read (or listen to) Workshop by Billy Collins (in which he workshops his own poem as he’s writing/reading it… it’s pretty funny stuff.).

Happy reading! Happy writing! See you Saturday!

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