I want to share an article I wrote regarding National Poetry Month and Oprah’s attempt to mainstream poetry through her magazine O. The article, “Beyond National Poetry Month,” was posted yesterday on The Write Life, the blog of the Wilkes University Graduate Creative Writing Program.
Basically, I wrote the article to continue the discussions about how to get poetry into communities and schools beyond one month out of the year. You can read the article here. Please, feel free to comment on it here or on the Wilkes blog.
4 thoughts on “Beyond National Poetry Monh”
Everything you said was beyond true, Brian. I’ve found a lot of people’s dislike of poetry comes from high schools that teach nothing but the out-of-date greats. Curriculums need an overhaul to show kids earlier that poetry is accessible beyond Byron and Keats…
Glad you liked the article, Tricia!
I don’t think, however, that the greats, like Keats or Shelley, should be taken out of curriculums. But I do think contemporary poets should be taught alongside the standard poets. And when a poet like Keats is taught, I feel an instructor should try to show students how they can relate to the themes or content ofhis work, not just focus on analyzing a line and breaking it apart syllable by syllable.
Another way to teach some of the greats is to use their work alongside a contemporary poet.
ie- “Chicago” by Carl Sandburg and then “Miss Chicago” by Kevin Coval, so students can see the influence the greats had on contemporary writers, and how some of the themes are borrowed, addressed, or even challenged, etc.
That’s kind of what I meant. I think the greats are great for a reason, but we need to teach kids (the younger the better) that poetry goes beyond Yeats, Shelly, and so on. I agree with what you said 🙂