Category: poetry lessons

After decades of giving writing workshops and over 15 years of teaching college I’ve developed hundreds of original lessons and assignments. Now it’s time for me to give back in thanks for the opportunity to teach and have a writing career. These materials are presented at no charge for you to download and use. Please credit: Ⓒ Copyright Michael Jackman. All Rights Reserved. You can help support my ability to present free online writing lessons by donating a suggested amount via the Paypal link. Any amount is welcome and thank you for your support!

here’s a teaching playlist on Youtube for you

I just put up a new Youtube playlist: “Teaching Podcasts by Michael Jackman, Poet and Teacher.” There, you can watch videos I’ve made about poetry, teaching poetry, and teaching in general. If there’s something you’d like me to talk about, contact me.

Poetry: Six Essential Principles

Here are six essential principles for writing lyric poetry. They are based on my many years of writing and studying “ars poetica,” the art of poetry. Keep these principles in mind when drafting and revising. 1. Poetry is Music A poem isn’t just words in a certain order. A poem is also made up of sounds the words make, arranged...

Resources for Creative Writers

My list of essential creative writing resources, from my local territory of Indiucky to beyond, periodically updated. Regional Opportunities (Indiucky and nearby) Our region is fortunate to offer many opportunities for writers. They include open mic readings, readings by guest authors, book signings, writers workshops, and programs of study. Many opportunities are free or low cost.  Louisville Literary Arts, including...

Generative Exercise: “Sasha’s Flight”

LOL – this is not a poem I’m ever going to send out, I don’t think – so I’m sharing it with you. I promised to do a generative exercise along with my poetry students based on an assignment called “Twenty Little Poetry Projects” by Jim Simmerman in The Practice of Poetry. The exercise has 20 random instructions for constructing...

Muriel Rukeyser on Why People Hate Poetry

As a teacher of poetry, I often hear dislike of poetry expressed. When I hear it, I’m dismayed, and struggle to understand why. At least until I discovered Muriel Rukeyser’s The Life of Poetry at a conference presentation. Seventy years ago, Muriel Rukeyser wrote these words explaining why people hate poetry that seem to me just as true today. Anyone...

Four Points of Good Workshopping

Over decades of running and participating in writing workshops, I’ve found that the best workshops happen when they include simple but effective guidelines for responding. This Four Points of Good Workshopping handout has served me well for creating a community of writers. It helps authors take in critiques and it helps participants guide their responses. It uses well-known interpersonal communication...