Mass Poetry currently runs two youth programs for elementary, middle, and high school students: Student Day of Poetry and Poet-In-Residence.
The Student Day of Poetry sparks and strengthens interest and engagement with poetry, while our Poet-in-Residence programs provide more sustained poetic mentorship. Both programs change the way students see poetry, as well as how they feel about themselves and each other. Through writing-generative workshops with top poets educators, poetry readings, performances, and student open mics, our educational programs provide inspiration and instruction at all levels and in all genres of poetry, from sonnets to spoken word and everything in between.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are offering virtual versions of these programs as well as workshop packets to facilitate poetry learning in a variety of distance learning models. Learn more below!
Student Day of Poetry
Student Days of Poetry exist to strengthen students’ skills in close reading, analysis, writing techniques, and performance. They also foster a sense of community, empathy with peers, and build self-confidence.
In-School Student Days of Poetry bring anywhere from 1 – 16 poets directly into your school or classroom. During the COVID-19 pandemic, students can engage with poets through your virtual class meeting or through distance learning poetry workshop packets. Even at a safe distance, our poets will lead students in writing-generative workshops and encourage them to share their work with others.
We currently work with poets who speak a variety of languages in addition to English, including but not limited to Spanish and ASL. Our poet educators also have experience working with students of all abilities and backgrounds, including but not limited to: severe behavioral issues, autism/neurodivergence, deaf or hearing impaired, blind or visually impaired, learning disabilities, English Language Learners, special needs students, and LGBTQ+ youth.
Mass Poetry works directly with a coordinator from the school – whether it’s an English teacher, librarian, partnership manager or principal – to determine what structure will work best for the school and reach the students that would most benefit from the program. We will recruit the appropriate number of poets for the program, taking into account any preferences for workshop topics or poet background (language, gender, ethnicity, LGBT, etc.)
This program is offered year-round based on schools’ schedules, so there is no start or end date for enrollment. We charge a stipend per poet as well as a small honorarium for Mass Poetry for administrative support. Typically fees are $125 per poet, which entails leading an hour-long writing-generative workshop and a brief performance or open mic. If you work in an underserved school that cannot afford these fees, please send an inquiry email to [email protected].
We also facilitate a larger scale Student Days of Poetry (SDOPs) involving multiple schools at a college campus or multiple classes in one school. Over the past three years alone, Mass Poetry has produced nine “field trip” SDOP Festivals attended by a total of 97 schools, and held 29 in-school Festivals. Student surveys show that after one SDOP Festival, 70% of students have a sparked or strengthened interest in reading poetry, and 69% of students have a sparked or strengthened interest in writing poetry.