Martin Farawell, Program Director, Poetry
Now that Labor Day has passed, schools everywhere are back in session. I hope teachers consider this blog, and the Dodge YouTube channel, as resources.
When Poetry Fridays was launched this past April, I imagined it as the first step toward creating an on-line “Introduction to Poetry.” Twenty-one entries have been posted that each focus on one short reading by a different Festival Poet at the 2008 Poetry Festival.
Invite your students to visit the Poetry Fridays blog and the Dodge YouTube channel. Allow them to let their own curiosity and interest be their guide. Remind them that for tens of thousands of years young people were first exposed to poetry as they were to storytelling: by listening.
Let them listen. Just listen and absorb the experience. Let them tell you which poems or poets spoke to them. Such an experience and exchange could connect them to each other and to poetry. Not a bad way to start the school year.
Whatever further steps are taken, and there are countless options, don’t forget that being read to is one of the universal pleasures. Allow your students the chance to be read to by some of our most talented living poets.
Be sure to return for upcoming Poetry Fridays, when we will feature many poets from past Dodge Poetry Festivals in the weeks ahead.