Frequently Asked Questions

Can I schedule a Moving Poetry class at my school?

Moving Poetry offers master classes in the schools. If you are interested in hosting a poet during one of your classes at school, you can arrange a time to have one of the poets from Moving Poetry come to your classroom. The fee for this session will depend upon the number of hours that you need, but generally a poet can come even for short sessions, such as one hour or two hours, depending on available times. During this class, the poet will lead the class in creative writing, offer suggestions to the students and teachers, and give ideas for new materials. Moving Poetry poets offer flexibility and new approaches to introducing material and to integrating previously existing material. These sessions can serve as a stimulus for students and teachers in developing new approaches to language.

How can learning to write poems help students to learn English?

Appreciating accuracy in any language helps, no matter what the language is. Writing poems leads students to pay attention closely to words themselves, which is an important step in learning any language. It teaches precisely the thing one hopes for most in learning any language — an attention to the vividness and aliveness of words. Practically, learning to write poems gives students a chance to see grammar, syntax and vocabulary in flexible ways while encouraging precision, revision, and fresh perceptions throughout.

What can students learn from writing poems?

Writing poems in the workshops makes students into sharper, more careful, observers. They become attentive to any form of organization that leads to new ideas, rather than merely reiterating what is already there. Students also learn a whole set of very concrete skills. When students write poems, they learn more vocabulary, more sensitivity to the sounds of language, more careful attention to how they use words, and more care in how they how they interpret them. They also become more attuned to syntax and grammar, not as something to be memorized but as something that is alive. They also learn to greet each other's suggestions with enthusiasm and learn to make constructive suggestions that make them feel a valued member of a community.

I might be afraid to write a poem. Will I be able to participate in the workshops?  

We may all at some point be afraid of getting things wrong. But Moving Poetry workshops address this by teaching a craft. A craft is series of practices and skills that can be learned, transferred and adapted when we realize that they are not being asked to give answers, right or wrong, but instead are being trained to see differently and observe differently. Our new observations create new possibilities of thinking. Writing poems successfully gives an order and a new confidence about seeing and writing.

Where can I find out more about the poets who teach for the program?

There is a section on the website that gives brief bios for each poet. All the poets who teach for Moving Poetry are internationally published and active in literary fields. The standard for the classroom and all workshops is high, and the expectations offered to each student comparably trust in a student's individual gifts, imagination and practice.