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‘I am a pattern of the wild’: Emily Dickenson Etc…

We began this class with an exercise from writer and researcher Dr. Brene Brown’s book: Braving the Wilderness. In it, she asks a group of 8th Grade students the difference […]

Chicken Curry for the Soul: Food & Memory

Free Verse and Narrative Style poetry were explored through Latino-American, Gary Soto’s, poem Oranges. 8th Grade students explored the idea of food, memory and nostalgia, then were asked to create small […]

‘…show us the bitter meaning of/ love’: Sun Talks To Poet (s)

A lesson on Personification, giving human qualities to something non-human, was our third lesson. We took a look at Frank O’Hara’s touching and somewhat mystifying poem, A True Account of Talking […]

‘Walkedon’: William Carlos Williams Revisited

The first day of my 10 week residency at Taft with their 8th Grade classroom was filled with energy! The students were eagerly brilliant and so we dug right in […]

What’s Eating You?

A discussion of food and memory began our class in preparation to study Gary Soto’s Narrative Style poem, Oranges. Nostalgia and feelings came up a lot in our talks. What emotions […]


My first day of my 20 week residency at Washington really wowed me! The students were eagerly brilliant and so we dug right in to examine William Carlos William’s minimalist […]

Billy Collins’ Most Excellent Adventure!

For our final poem at Washington, I chose, On Turning Ten by Billy Collins. The poem has one looking back while at the same time, looking forward…apropos for a great group […]

Mixed Media: 1 & 2: Race, Power, Bias, Without Question

The past two sessions we focused on how one might discover poetry in one’s everyday lives– through the poem, Q&A from Erratic Fire, Erratic Passion: The Poetry of Sports Talk by Pasha Mala […]

No Fear Shakespeare!

A brave group of 8th Graders tackled our old friend Bill Shakespeare with gusto over the past two weeks. Class discussions involved:  The Is it Shakespeare of is it Rap? […]

‘You ate my/other calf’: Lousy Language #2

Spring is in the air…or at least it is trying to be. So, with that in mind, this lesson had us looking at Kevin Young’s love/ ‘nonsense’ poem, Errata. Young’s poetry […]