This work from newly-appointed U. S. Poet Laureate, Natasha Trethewey, begins with a forward by Rita Dove. Dove begins with a quote from James Baldwin...moreThis work from newly-appointed U. S. Poet Laureate, Natasha Trethewey, begins with a forward by Rita Dove. Dove begins with a quote from James Baldwin, "People are trapped in history, and history is trapped in them."
And this is just the beginning of an amazing collection of poems that takes a close look at people--from memory and from images. All kinds of people. I think the poetry community is in for a real treat with this new appointment.
Trethewey's poetry affords an almost seamless transition from Philip Levine who taught us "what work is." Trethewey's verse sets to show us "who people are."(less)
From Georgia Heard's Introduction to THE ARROW FINDS ITS MARK: "I believe that creating a found poem has to do with sharpening a poet's vision--seeing...moreFrom Georgia Heard's Introduction to THE ARROW FINDS ITS MARK: "I believe that creating a found poem has to do with sharpening a poet's vision--seeing that poetry exists all around us and ultimately having the insight and imagination to find it."
This is the book I have been looking for. Having heard of Georgia (giggle) and her approach to poetry called "Found Poetry," we have been inviting students to use this approach to generate pieces for the past eight years. We'd often use a passage from SPEAK or THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD (one year, I drafted a piece using all four acts of THE CRUCIBLE).
Now, here is a collection from Georgia Heard and some of the biggest names in poetry for students (and for the rest of us). Look at this line-up:
Lee Bennett Hopkins Marilyn Singer Joyce Sidman George Ella Lyon (whose piece comes from a send home memo from her child's school) Jane Yolen Naomi Shihab Nye Rebecca Kai Dotlich (whose piece shows us to poetic nature of text) Sara Holbrook Laura Purdie Salas J. Patrick Lewis (whose piece captures birdcall and renders it as a song) Janet Wong Bob Raczka (whose piece is found in pull down menus on a computer screen) Paul Janeczko (who actually finds a poem within WALDEN)
There's so much to say about a book like this that serves as a companion piece to the approach offered by Georgia some time ago. How many teachers are out there using this approach within their learning community. I remember one year--much to the chagrin of our media specialist--that our Room 210 Readers built book stacks about the library to create a sense of found poetry. I've been captivated by "found" poetry and "strike-out" poetry. Here are two super examples of "strike-out" poetry:
RADI OS by Ronald Johnson:
This is actually a 1977 strike out of Milton's PARADISE LOST which creates a most unique vision of society as Johnson saw it during this creative time. The strike outs are on the page so that the reader truly gets a sense of what has been stricken out and what remains in its stead now.
A HUMUMENT by Tom Phillips:
This is actually an artistic treatment of a medieval text which each page becoming a work of art.
TREE OF CODES by Jonathan Safran Foer:
A re-working of the author's favorite book, STREET OF CROCODILES, this book takes "found poetry" to a whole new level with each page die cut to reveal new letters, words, and arrangements.
NEWSPAPER BLACKOUT by Austin Kleon:
I really like this one for the classroom. Kleon takes sections of the daily paper and blacks out the words he doesn't want to use for a piece leaving words in order or little specks of white that serve to point the reader in the direction Kleon intends the reader to take when reading.
Georgia Heard's new collection is a thin volume packed with poets that should be on classroom reading lists.
I've often likened found poems to be like those bug collections we used to have to do as kids. Get a corkboard; find a bug. Stick a pin through the bug into the corkboard. Label the bug. Submit. So, at the end of the project, we have this evidence of what was once alive, now neatly arranged and labeled like a portable cemetery.
But with found poems, we find words on the wing. We go out with our nets and we look for words. And when we find them, we stick a pen through them into a page. And what we have now is still as wonderfully alive as it was on the back of a cereal box, or a travel guide, or as part of a song coming from the trees.
What I like about Georgia Heard's collection is the number of pieces that seem to come from nature or end up being nature-inspired. I think there is something to this.
Definitions, explorations, and invitations to read, to revisit, and to write your own poetry. Poem-Making would make a wonderful companion in the midd...moreDefinitions, explorations, and invitations to read, to revisit, and to write your own poetry. Poem-Making would make a wonderful companion in the middle grade writing workshop to SPILLING INK. Use also with Ted Kooser's THE POETRY HOME REPAIR MANUAL.
Livingston is an NCTE award-winning poet whose contributions as an anthologist continues to be celebrated. Her ability to pull from canonized poets to poets familiar for their more contemporary offerings, the book would serve teachers well for quick pull-out examples of poems that could be used as mentor text for form or approach.(less)
Writer Workshop ready for Halloween for inventive use of adjectives and descriptive words. Painting by Douglas Florian made me pick this one up. Visua...moreWriter Workshop ready for Halloween for inventive use of adjectives and descriptive words. Painting by Douglas Florian made me pick this one up. Visually engaging, not too frightening!(less)
At first glance, a reader might write off this Lee Bennett Hopkins collection and thereby miss pieces within from Carl Sandburg, Langston Hughes, Ogde...moreAt first glance, a reader might write off this Lee Bennett Hopkins collection and thereby miss pieces within from Carl Sandburg, Langston Hughes, Ogden Nash, Jack Prelutsky, and a host of NCTE Award Winning poets who lend their pieces to a particular letter.
This collection is workshop ready for the way each piece conveys a central image related to a letter. I can see writing invitations that would ask students to employ the "Encyclopedia of Me" approach introduced in Kelly Gallagher's new book, WRITE LIKE THIS.
A simple ABC book is transformed when Lillian Moore presents us with "Foghorns":
The foghorns moaned in the bay last night so sad so deep I thought I heard the city crying in its sleep.
Sylvia Cassedy offers such powerful metaphors like the one in "Tunnel":
Tunnel in the park: a sandwich of night between two slices of light.
Pulled this one from the downstairs library this weekend to look over Penny's work again, going back over the notes I had made the first time I read t...morePulled this one from the downstairs library this weekend to look over Penny's work again, going back over the notes I had made the first time I read this book. Still finding ideas within the ideas presented here.
Penny's book/resource here is like a love letter to the classroom teacher who wants to bring more writing. . .more reading into their classroom.
Pulling from her own mentoring by Donald Murray and Donald Graves, what I like about Penny's work is her ability to draw from her sources and take away what she needs to foster an idea and to make that idea a reality for her students.
Penny's new book, Book Love, releases in November, but if you haven't seen WRITE BESIDE THEM, make sure this is in your toolbox. Wonderful examples of lead learning in action here. (less)