At Mass Poetry, we believe poetry can change the world. We also believe our commitment to educational and youth programming is a strong first step. For over ten years, we’ve been bringing Poet-Educators into classrooms to work with students on reading, drafting, writing, editing, providing peer feedback, and performing. We help students find their authentic voices, and increase their self-confidence and communication skills. One of our former students, a 7th grader from Excel Academy Chelsea, said it best: “Poetry can help you unswallow your thoughts and unfold your feelings.” As we head back into classrooms after nearly 500 days of quarantine, with many students struggling not only academically, but in terms of social and emotional development, our mission feels more important than ever before.
Mass Poetry-certified Poet-Educators, or those with comparable experience, work in public schools for a minimum of three sessions, and up to an entire school year. Residencies are customizable and can include co-teaching, workshops, performances & open mics, after-school programming, and/or one-on-one mentorship. The residency culminates in a capstone, such as the publication of an anthology of students’ work or a poetry open mic for the entire student body.
Mass Poetry’s Professional Development program is led by engaging poet-instructors and focused on the teaching of poetic craft and technique, providing skills for educators to invigorate their classrooms. While the sessions are geared toward high school teachers working with the Common Core Curriculum, anyone who seeks to strengthen their knowledge and skills in creative writing poetry instruction are welcome to attend. Teachers earn PDPs, while others earn Certificates of Completion.
Resources for Educators
Resources for educators include: tools and tips for teaching poetry; poetry programs in Massachusetts; and publications, programs, and contests for middle & high school students.
Also, check out what’s in store for upcoming Student Programming. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are offering virtual versions of these programs as well as creative writing workshop packets (below) to facilitate poetry learning in a variety of distance learning models.
Tools and Tips for Teaching Poetry
- Mass Poetry’s Distance Learning Workshop Packets — creative writing workshop packets by our poets to support distance learning
- Poets.org Materials for Teachers — Find poems for kids and teens, lesson plans, essays, and more.
- Teaching Poetry Online — resources from the Poetry Foundation for teaching and learning remotely at all levels.
- Poetry 180
- Poetry Out Loud’s Teaching Resources
- underbelly mag — publishes poems of established poets alongside prior drafts, with commentary on their revision process
- The Woodberry Poetry Room’s YouTube channel — features readings, seminars, oral histories, and lectures hosted at Harvard’s Poetry Room since 2011.
- Assay Journal — resources for online creative writing pedagogy
- SuperSummary: Poetry Guide — resources for the beginner; for those new to teaching poetry who need a super basic place to start
- Article: “Why Teaching Poetry is So Important”
Poetry Programs in Massachusetts and Beyond
- The Adroit Journal’s Summer Mentorship Program — pairs experienced writers with students interested in learning more about the creative writing processes of drafting, redrafting and editing.
- Dear Poet Project — an annual multimedia education project that invites students to write letters in response to poems
- emersonWRITES — a free Emerson College writing experience for high school students
- FreeVerse! — youth spoken word poetry in the city of Lowell
- Grub Street’s Programs For Teens — links to their writing classes, summer fellowship program & slam poetry team
- MassLEAP — Massachusetts Literary Education and Performance, founders of Wicked Loud (below)
- Saint John’s High School Young Writers Conference — conference open to all students grades 7 to 12
- The Adroit Prize for Poetry & Prose — awarded annually to two students of secondary or undergraduate status
- Bow Seat — Ocean Awareness student arts contest
- CollegeXpress — national high school poetry contest
- The Longfellow Student Poetry Contest — annual competition with categories for high school and elementary/middle school
- Poetic Power — a writing contest for students in grades K-12
- Poetry Out Loud — holds statewide poetry recitation contests
- River of Words — environmental literacy poetry contest open to any child aged 5-19
- Walt Whitman Student Poetry Contest — annual competition
- Wicked Loud — formerly known as Louder Than A Bomb
- Winning Writers — also lists resources for students.
- Write the World — also provides a global online community that helps students develop writing strategies and communication tools
- Youngarts National Competition — annual visual, literary, or performing artist for youth 15 to 18 years old