All posts in Larry Dean

Our inevitable last classes occurred this week. I brought in one of my own poems to share, giving students the opportunity to quiz me on its particulars. “Finding Bigfoot,” inspired by the TV show […]

After a few weeks off, we reunited for our penultimate sessions, reading and discussing “maggie and milly and molly and may” by E. E. Cummings. I suggested that this poem was a kind of […]

The weather outside school walls happened to be warm and springlike, contrasting with the scene set in Robert Frost’s famous poem, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” Arguably, the opposite environment intensified its […]

Cats jumping on us from out of nowhere, dandelions, bottle caps, and more are some of the things that the speaker in Dean Young’s “Quiet Grass, Green Stone” describes, confessing, “Me who wants to […]

In “Pokeberries,” Ruth Stone recalls members of her extended family—mostly women—and how they (positively) impacted her life. Her brief yet potent poem is packed with vivid details and initiated many lively and fascinating conversations. […]

Jordan Jace’s “I want” was the poem we examined this week. Unlike the prior selection, Jace’s effort reads as ‘normal,’ with its standard grammar and lack of blank space, and incorporates repetition as a […]

David Baker’s poem “Pastoral” evoked some interesting conversations this week. First of all, with its use of blank space, it created opportunities for various interpretative readings by student volunteers—some with pauses, others who chose […]

“Remember” by Joy Harjo was this week’s selection. After hearing it read aloud, we wondered who the speaker might be—the poet, or someone (or something) else? One of the first elements of poetry we […]

For our second week, we read “On Quiet Feet” by Nikki Grimes. Students noticed how different it looked from last week’s selection, being only a single stanza and with much shorter lines. We decided […]

As always, it was a pleasure to be back with the students at Skinner West! Everyone was excited and eager to begin. I introduced myself as well as the program and went over what […]


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“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.