All posts in Larry Dean

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 […]

It’s been an incredibly fun and insightful residency at Volta, but unfortunately, today was our last class. I reminded the students that in addition to teaching poetry, I write it as well, so I […]

We had our final poetry classes this week. Since one of the initial things I mention when we begin a residency is my own status as a ‘working’ poet, I brought in one of […]

Emily Dickinson’s “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers” was our focus this week. We talked about its multitudinous use of em dashes, unusual capitalization, and rhyme, but especially its central metaphor comparing a bird […]

For our penultimate session, we read and discussed Emily Dickinson’s “’Hope’ is the thing with feathers.” Students have taken note of em dashes in previous poems, but not to the extent they appear here; […]

Last week, we read and discussed Federico Garcia Lorca’s “The Guitar.” In class, we’ve previously examined how some writers choose personification from among many literary devices. However, the title musical instrument isn’t the only […]


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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.