Concise and accessible, this guide to teaching the art of poetry from Shakespeare to contemporary poets enables anyone to learn about how poets approach their art. Teachers can use this book to explore any facet or era of poetry. Any reader can use it as an entryway into the art of poetry. Teaching the Art of Poetry shows poetry as a multi-faceted artistic process rather than a mystery on a pedestal. It demystifies the art of poetry by providing specific historical, social, and aesthetic contexts for each element of the art. It is a nuts-and-bolts approach that encourages teachers and students to work with poetry as a studio art--something to be explored, challenged, assembled and reassembled, imagined, and studied--all the things that an artist does to present poetry as a search for meaning. This book advocates poetry as an essential tool for aesthetic, cultural, and linguistic literacy. It portrays poetry as an art rather than a knowledge base, and methods for integrating the art of poetry into the school curriculum. The authors' intention is not to fill gaps; it is to change how poetry is presented in the classroom, to change how it is taught and how students think about it. Teaching the Art of Poetry: * Emphasizes hands-on experiences. Over 160 exercises focus attention on the dynamics of the art of poetry. Activities include group work, peer editing, critical thinking skills, revising drafts, focused reading, oral communication, listening skills, and vocabulary, as well as mechanics and usage. * Features a week-long lesson plan in each chapter to aid the teacher. These relate the main aspects of each chapter to classroom activities and, in addition, include a "Beyond the Week" section to promote further investigation of the topic. * Promotes an integrated approach to poetry. The examples used in each chapter show poetry as a living tradition. * Makes extensive use of complete poems along with extracts from many others. * Does not talk down to teachers--is teacher oriented and jargon free.
Baron Wormser is the author of nine books of poetry and a poetry chapbook. He is the co-author of two books about teaching poetry and the author of a memoir along with a book of short stories and a novel. He teaches in the Fairfield University MFA program. He also is the Founding Director of Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching in Franconia, New Hampshire. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He served as poet laureate of Maine from 2000 to 2005 and received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of Maine at Augusta in 2005.