Thursday, December 10, 2009

Writing resource: the Favorite Poem Project

Based at Boston University and run by former US Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, the Favorite Poem Project culls poems and commentary from people all over the United States. In the three books that the FPP has published, the poems appear alongside the commentary, which usually consists of a memory or personal attachment that draws the submitter to the poem. As a teaching tool, the FPP presents poetry in an accessible and comfortable way--I think reading the chosen poems alongside the comments of the submitter would show new poetry readers an entryway into poems otherwise confusing, cryptic, or new. The website also includes a magnificently rich section just for teachers (and publishes a teacher's guide to one of its books, An Invitation to Poetry): Here, you'll find lesson plans for students at both the middle and high school level, some of which are written by American public school teachers. The DVD/audio recordings of Americans reading their favorite poems are also available online in parts.

I'd recommend this resource for any teachers/community instructors working with writers new to poetry. Though the lessons are written for adolescent students, I think they could be easily adapted to suit an adult audience.

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