I love watching ideas I’ve gathered for my NEH poetry seminar take new forms as they spread around the country. Here’s the blurb I just received for a workshop (for parents and teachers) to be led by a 2009 Say Something Wonderful alum. The phrase “Poetry as a Second Language” came to me from the poet Charles Bernstein; Poetry Out Loud is the program from the Poetry Foundation; the writing prompts here came from this particular teacher, and the phrase “near-infinite particularities” comes (directly or in paraphrase, I’m not sure) from Baron Wormser and David Cappella’s A Surge of Language, which I’ve used as a textbook in the seminar for several years. Fun to see them mixed and matched this way!
Poetry as Second Language (PSL):
Immersion in the Language of Poetry
We will look at 4 ways we can immerse kids in the language of poetry: the first way is through Poetry Out Loud--we will see performances by 8th and 9th graders (one 8th grader will also perform a slam to differentiate it from POL and rap); the second way is through hearing, daily, the teacher read a poem and having the students copy down another poem dictated to them (there will be a handout of short poems available); the third way is through writing poems (a quick look at examples of 2-word, circle, and change poems (and see how the "form" of the poems applies to short poems by Pound, Kooser, and Kenyon); and the fourth way is through close reading (we will talk together about our reading of Blake's "The Tyger" and Oppen's "Psalm" and see, perhaps, the near-infinite particularities potential in a poem).