Introducing my new Youtube playlist

Greetings everyone! I want to introduce you to my new Youtube playlist: “Teaching Podcasts by Michael Jackman, Poet and Teacher.” There, you can watch video podcasts I’ve made about poetry, teaching poetry, and teaching in general. If there’s something you’d like me to feature, drop me an e-mail at podcasts /at/ michael-jackman.com In the meantime,Continue reading “Introducing my new Youtube playlist”

On trying to teach students not to use clichés

With experience as a writer comes certainty about clichés (and their exceptions). Don’t use ’em exclamation point period. These worn-out formulas add nothing to the writing. Setting aside characters like Hamlet’s Polonius who spout clichés as a way of demonstrating that very fact. Yet I have students in upper level creative writing classes who willContinue reading “On trying to teach students not to use clichés”

Listen to an amazing poem by Gwendolyn Brooks

If you’re into poetry, then you’ll love this series celebrating the 110th Anniversary of the Poetry Society of America. Here’s Major Jackson reading a poem by Gwendolyn Brooks. Check out the series of readings here: poetrysociety.org/features/reading-through-the-decades. Enjoy the reading of a wonderful poem (I’m going to add it to my classes).

A little advice on poem titles

I think poets should avoid certain kinds of titles. Particularly one-word titles such as, for example, “Claustrophobia” or “Illness.” Now, not all one-word titles are a problem. I mean the kind that explain or broadcast the poem’s “theme” to the reader. By “theme” in this case I don’t mean literary theme, a general statement aboutContinue reading “A little advice on poem titles”

Poetry Quote: Auden 3

Good morning! Continuing my travels through W. H. Auden’s Selected Poems, I arrived at this lovely verse. Auden seems to be channeling Shakespeare in this stage, with formal syntax and even in setting looking backwards (nothing like the American inventions of, say, William Carlos Williams et al.) But my, how he is finding his ownContinue reading “Poetry Quote: Auden 3”

Poetry Quote: Auden 1&2

Lately I’ve been reading the Selected Poems of W.H. Auden and posting bits I find interesting or inspiring. Here are two. This first one is very sombre, and fits with our pandemic times, as it did with his world sliding toward World War II. The sky is darkening like a stain, Something is going toContinue reading “Poetry Quote: Auden 1&2”