April is Poetry Month….

….and I have cried no less than 3 times since my students started writing their poems.  Three students in particular are gifted poets and their poems honestly made me cry (which the rest of the class found amazing).  Does anyone have any ideas for publication?  I don’t have a lot of resources for places that are interested in student poetry.

So far, we have only immersed ourselves in poetry and opened the heart door (thanks, Georgia Heard!).  If the poems they are sharing so far are any indication, this might be my best year yet with poetry.  They are very open to sharing and I have am getting glimpses into lives that I didn’t know anything about.

Poetry is always one of my favorite units of the year because it truly opens a window into the souls of my students.  I love opening their eyes to poetry; after years of being required to write acrostics, cinquains, sonnets, and other highly regimented forms of poetry it’s awesome to allow them the freedom to write non-rhyming poems!  Even better, they can choose their topics and write about anything they want.  My only rule is that every student must dig deep.  In other words, no poems like “I like summer.  It is not a bummer.  We go in the pool.  It is cool.”  My corny example always brings a few laughs but it seems to sink in.  So far, so good.  I have learned about parents with breast cancer, the death of grandparents, losing pets, losing friends, growing apart, growing up, and more coming-of-age moments in their tweenage lives.

Are your students surprising you this month with their poetry?

4 Responses

  1. Have you thought about the magazine STONE SOUP? Accepts writing from kids 8-13. Take a look at its website, where you’ll find a link to other possibilities also. Good luck!

  2. I’m not an English teacher, but a high school student who loves English class. (Tenth grade.) I write sonnets in my spare time, mostly when I feel like something deeply affects me, whether or not it’s in my everyday life or in the news.

    If you wanted to read them, maybe give some criticism, I would love it! 🙂 (But don’t feel obligated.)


  3. Your students might like to post their poems on the Our Echo website (www.ourecho.com). It’s a very encouraging community that posts family memory essays and poems and creative writing. There are a few young people on it and some seniors (80s and 90s) with the whole range in-between.

  4. Please check out Teen Ink, which is a magazine with all of the text written by teens…www.teenink.com

    Also, for next year (because you have to call for a publishing day early), there is a publishing company that will publish (make hardcover) books for your students for FREE. You could have students create their own poetry book or create a class book of all of the poems. The company is Nationwide Publishing…check out their website at http://www.nationwide-learning.com/

    I hope this helps.

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