All posts in Manley

The Summer of Hot Classroom @ Manley High School

Last week we wrote poems inspired by Nikki Giovanni’s poem “Knoxville, Tennessee” which examines her childhood memories of summer—food, activities, family parties, etc. We revisited our childhood associations with summer […]

Because My Cat Found A Unicorn & Other Reasons Why @ Manley High School

Last Thursday, Mr. Peterson and Ms. O’Neal’s classes read and discussed an English translation of the poem “Because” by Greek poet, Yannis Ritsos. The poem offers ten lines of explanation, […]

I Remember Eating a Whole Stick of Butter & Other Memories @ Manley High School

Last week Mr. Peterson and Ms. O’Neal’s classes reviewed and discussed an excerpt of Joe Brainard’s autobiographical long poem, “I Remember.” Brainard’s litany of memories investigate his childhood, his neighborhood, […]

I Wish the Microwave Had Legs & other poems @ Manley High School

During the second portion of our class at Manley High School’s summer credit recovery program we wrote “I Wish” poems. I asked the students to write 10-15 wishes and to […]

Cars Driving on Clouds in the Sky— Exquisite Corpse Poems @ Manley High School

Hello, readers. I am serving as the summer Poet in Residence and I’ll be reporting on poems created at Manley High School’s summer credit recovery program until the end of […]


“We were afraid of everything,” begins the poem “Fear” by Dorianne Laux. I asked students to describe the fears of teenagers and compiled a selection of lines into a collaborative […]


We read “homage to my hair” by Lucille Clifton. I encouraged the students to choose something they loved about themselves and write a poem in praise of that. 4th period […]

Mirror Persona

Sylvia Plath’s poem “Mirror” explores the imagined persona of a mirror hanging in a house. What would your mirror say if it could talk? 4th period Mirror, Mirror, On the […]

Haiku, you.

Richard Wright is better known for his novels, but he also wrote thousands of haiku poems towards the end of his life, 400-some of which he selected to be published […]

What it’s like

We read “What it’s Like to Be a Black Girl (for those of you who aren’t)” by Patricia Smith and talked about identity, both in the poem and in our […]