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Resources for Poetry on the Web

There are hundreds if not thousands of websites about poetry and teaching. And more will be launched each day. We can’t possibly offer a comprehensive list here. Rather, we had contributors of Teaching With Heart: Poetry That Speaks to the Courage to Teach share some of their favorite websites and resources for teaching and poetry:

Bill Moyer’s Fooling with Words is “a PBS documentary special produced with young people in mind. we wanted them to see just how vital, compelling, and enjoyable poetry can be. So we took our cameras to the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival in waterloo, New Jersey, to capture the excitement of ’the woodstock of Poetry.’ we covered the festival as if it were a sporting event, with cameras every- where. . . The result is a film that will introduce your students to the power and pleasure of poetry in many guises.” (www.pbs.org/wnet/foolingwithwords/main_video.html)

Favorite Poem Project (FPP) showcases individuals reading and speaking personally about poems they love. As the FPP website notes: “One of the Favorite Poem Project’s significant goals is to enhance and improve the teaching of poetry in the nation’s elementary, middle and high school classrooms.” For the last twelve years, Karen Harris, a contributor to this book, has served as the lead teacher for FFP’s weeklong Summer Institute for Educators. The program gives teachers a chance to work with great poems; to learn with visiting poets like Louise Gluck, Mark Doty, and Rosanna warren, along with resident poets Robert Pinsky and Maggie Dietz; and to be energized in their own work with fellow poet-inspired teachers. (www.favoritepoem.org)

Haiku.org is hosted by the Haiku Society of America (HSA), which is “a not-for-profit organization founded in 1968 by Harold G. Henderson and Leroy Kanterman to promote the writing and appreciation of haiku in English. Membership is open to all readers, writers, and students of haiku. The HSA has been meeting regularly since its inception and sponsors open lectures, workshops, readings, and contests.” (www.hsa-haiku.org/)

Poetry 180 is a site hosted by the Library of Congress.The poet Billy Collins introduces the site: “Poetry can and should be an important part of our daily lives. Poems can inspire and make us think about what it means to be a member of the human race. By just spending a few minutes reading a poem each day, new worlds can be revealed. Poetry 180 is designed to make it easy for students to hear or read a poem on each of the 180 days of the school year.” (www.loc.gov/poetry/180/)

The Poetry Foundation, “publisher of Poetry magazine, is an indepen- dent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our cul- ture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience.” In addition, there is the foundation’s Poetry Tool app, which lists poems by category and also connects to biographical information on the poets. (www.poetryfoundation.org)

Poetry Out Loud “encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage. Poetry Out Loud curriculum materials include the online poetry anthology, a com- prehensive teacher’s guide, a DVD of National Finals performances, lesson plans, and promotional and media guides.” (www.poetryoutloud.org/teaching-resources/)

The Poetry Society of America, “the nation’s oldest poetry organization, was founded in 1910. Its mission is to build a larger and more diverse audience for poetry, to encourage a deeper appreciation of the vitality and breadth of poetry in the cultural conversation, and to place poetry at the crossroads of American life.” (www.poetrysociety.org)

Poets.org, in addition to spearheading Poem in Your Pocket Day, offers resources for teachers through an online poetry classroom: “Poets.org serves both as an interactive professional development program and a virtual community, enabling teachers across the country to access free poetry resources online.These teaching tools include innovative, classroom-tested curricula and discussion forums in which users can post strategies for and ask questions about teaching poetry at the primary, secondary, and university level.” Under the tab “For Educators” there is a link to “Essays on Teaching,” a wide range of essays written by students, teachers, and poets. (www.poets.org)

The Reading & Writing Project’s “mission is to help young people become avid and skilled readers, writers, and inquirers. we accomplish this goal through research, curriculum development, and through working shoulder-to-shoulder with students, teachers, principals and superintendents. The organization has developed state-of-the-art tools and methods for teaching of reading and writing, for using performance assessments and learning progressions to accelerate progress, and for literacy-rich content-area instruction.” (http://readingandwritingproject.com/)

Shared Poetry Project on the LearningMatters website “invites public school students to film community members reciting lines of poetry, then edit the readings into a video for the LearningMatters YouTube channel. This exciting proj- ect provides students the opportunity to develop or strengthen real-world skills of teamwork, quality control, and production. It also can introduce the 80% of Americans who do not have school-aged children to the remarkable abilities of our youth.” (http://learningmatters.tv/blog/web-series/shared-poetry/9086/)

Teachers & Writers Collaborative “seeks to educate the imagination by offering innovative creative writing programs for students and teachers, and by providing a variety of publications and resources to support learning through the literary arts.” (www.twc.org)

The Writer’s Almanac features a poem a day read by Garrison Keillor. You can subscribe to receive daily poetry selections. (www.writersalmanac.org/)