Tagged: teaching poetry

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.

listen to an amazing poem by Gwendolyn Brooks

Here’s Major Jackson reading an amazing poem by Gwendolyn Brooks, “Negro Hero.” The reading is part of a series celebrating the 110th Anniversary of the Poetry Society of America.. Check out the series here: poetrysociety.org/features/reading-through-the-decades.

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 about the human condition that we...

poems are not school papers

So many of my intro to creative writing students can’t get out of the habit of writing poems like papers, planning a “topic,” and outlining the “points” they want to make. They think of poems as “meanings” decorated with pretty, poetic language. No! The purpose of a poem is to convey experiences and emotions, which carry possible meanings on their...

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...

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...