In this article, teacher Brittny Ray Crowell brings the poem, “I saw Emmett Till this week at the grocery store,” by Eve Ewing to “help students see that poetry can offer a means of reckoning with history and trauma, and to show them that there is power, and perhaps even beauty, in the process of artistic re-envisioning.”
“I urge my students, whether elementary school age or adults, to work for “abundance” as they walk: Look hard, pick up the messages in the cracks you’ve stepped over every single morning. Later you can choose among your riches for your poem” Naomi Shahib Nye writes. In this T&W archive article from 1997, Nye writes about her experience teaching in San Antonio where she and her students read poetry by Latinx poets closely, to inspire their writing processes, attentiveness to detail and their perceptions of their neighborhoods.
Teacher Andrew DeBella shares how he uses Pulitzer Prize winning artist Kendrick Lamar’s music to create a visceral experience of poetry in his classes. We are reminded here that to connect to poetry’s deeper meanings, we have to first feel it awaken within ourselves. Here is how Andrew creates this experience in his classroom:
T&W writer Libby Mislan reflects on the healing nature of processing emotion through poetry. To meet the perceived needs of students, she created the “Poetry as Processing” workshop where students learned SEL skills and wrote from their experience of this telling 2020 year.
National Book Award finalist Candice Iloh shares a lesson using the spoken word poem “Afro-Latina” by Elizabeth Acevedo, to ground students in their multiple identities and lived experiences and to utilize literary devices and source material in generative writing exercises.
Teacher, Elizabeth Jorgensen helps students engage in the creative writing process by giving them an opportunity to publish or gain recognition for their work. Read how her students express themselves through the sijo and find success in The Sejong Cultural Society’s annual poetry competition.
Laura Wheatman Hill shares ideas to intrigue students with E. E. Cummings’ poem “l(a…(a leaf falls on loneliness)” and teaches students how a poems’ subject matter can often inform its structure.