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Poetry Central

Welcome to Poetry Central! Created by Lance Larsen, PhD, Utah Poet Laureate 2012-2017, Poetry Central is a clearinghouse of information for teachers, students, and anyone else interested in reading and writing poetry.

Reading Poetry

A great way to interact with poetry is by hearing poets read their own work. Visit our Bite-Size Poetry page to watch videos of notable Utah poets reading short poems. If you want to see a list of the videos in each YouTube playlist, click here: 2015 Bite-Size Poetry or here: 2009-2011 Bite-Size Poetry

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Here are great websites for reading both classic and contemporary poetry:

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Writing Poetry

We’ve gathered poetry prompts from many of the Bite-Size Poetry poets. Those noted with an asterisk (*) are exercises especially well-suited for K-12 classrooms.

*Shanan Ballam, “Mapping the Neighborhood”

Lisa Bickmore, “Invention and Discovery”

*Marilyn Bushman-Carlton, “Generating Poems from Epigraphs”

Rob Carney, “12 Tasks”

*Elaine Christensen, “A Suitcase Packed with Everyday Things”

*Chris Cokinos, “A Surrealist Game for Two”

Katharine Coles, “Centos, Pantoums, Erasure Poems”

Star Coulbrooke, “Writing Your Childhood”

*Brock Dethier, “A Thank-you Poem”

Craig Dworkin, “Found Poetry and Experimentation”

Siân Griffiths, “The Cinematic Eye: Writing Image-Driven Poems”

Ben Gunsberg, “Write a Rhapsody”

Jean Howard, “Writing Extreme Performance Poems”

*Kimberly Johnson, “Fifty Sentences”

Janine Joseph, “World into Word”

*Lance Larsen, “Pieces of Eight: Pocket Poetry Exercises”

Jason Olsen, “The Group Title Prompt”

Jacqueline Osherow, “Go to the Zoo”

Paisley Rekdal, “The Next Thing Always Belongs”

*Susan Roche, “Doo-Dads”

Natasha Sajé, “Poems Aware of History”

Susan Sample, “Best Words in the Best Order”

*Gail Schimmelpfennig, “Gifts to the Imagination”

Jon Sebba, “Twenty Little Poetry Projects”

Ned Snell, “Getting Started”

*Laura Stott, “The Train Station Poem”

Nancy Takacs, “Writing a Poem on a Road”

 

Visit the Poets & Writers page for some good poetry prompts online:

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Visit the Academy of American Poets page for information about various poetry forms:

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Dr. Larsen recommends these books with poetry exercises and prompts:

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The Utah State Poetry Society’s mission is “nurturing those with a desire to write poetry”: