Welcome to Poetry Recess

August 20, 2009

Aloha Hawai’i Teachers,

Thank you for your participation in the 10th Annual Star Poets project. Teaching poetry can be a daunting, but incredibly exciting and rewarding adventure. What is the best way to teach poetry? Does poetry sidestep the rules of grammar? Is it possible to encourage originality through teaching forms? When does a poem stop making strict logical sense and start making a different kind of poetic sense? While you may not find all your answers to these questions, you will find many intriguing and thought-provoking ideasĀ  and activities from poets and teachers. We hope this blog will challenge and inspire you to come up with your own innovative ways to explore poetry in your classrooms.

We will feature new essays, interviews, book reviews, or write-ups for in-class activities and assignments every month until January. Please make use of the comment feature under each posting and share your own thoughts and questions. Perhaps you took an idea from an essay and turned it into a new assignment–please let us know the outcome. Perhaps you modified an in-class activity suggested for high schoolers into an activity for 3rd graders–let us know how it translated. Most of all, we hope this blog will offer you a chance to engage with other teachers and poets who, like you, understand the value of poetry in Hawai’i’s classrooms.

What can you expect at Poetry Recess this year? We are honored that our first feature will be an essay by Eric Chock, one of the founding editors of Bamboo Ridge Press and recipient of the Hawai’i Award for Literature. Eric was the Poets in the Schools Coordinator for the Department of Education for over 20 years, so he possesses an amazing wealth of knowledge based on his years of classroom experience. Be sure to check our site on September 1st to read his essay. Future features include activities and interviews from participating Hawai’i teachers, book reviews of poetry teaching resources, and even a few activities from poets/teachers out of state. If you have more ideas for what you would like to see on this site, we welcome your feedback and questions: wccstarpoets@gmail.com.

We look forward to an invigorating exchange on the teaching and writing of poetry!