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Poetry Parlor

May 5, 2020

Maine Teaching Artist Helps Poets Boost Their Skills Online

Brian Evans-Jones is a Maine-based poet and Maine Artist Leadership Initiative (MALI) Teaching Artist Leader. After moving to South Berwick from Britain in 2014, he has taught poetry and writing in schools across Maine, from Kittery to Calais to Van Buren. Now he’s expanding his reach by teaching poetry online to adults.

His new project, Poetry Parlor, is an online membership club for anyone who wants to learn about writing poetry. Each month, members read and discuss a high-quality poem by a contemporary poet, and then write a poem of their own based on what they’ve learned. Members then get feedback on their poems from other members, in a video from Brian, or via a monthly Zoom call with Brian (depending on membership level). There’s also a private Facebook group for members to interact and support each other. So far 18 poets have tried out the Parlor, with some very positive feedback about what they’ve learned.

The idea for Poetry Parlor began when Brian thought about how he could reach more poets. He said, “I’ve taught poetry to adults since 2008, but I hadn’t found the same opportunities to teach it in Maine that I used to have in England. I really love teaching adults, and I was missing it, so I thought about online teaching. I particularly wanted to help writers who were passionate about learning poetry, but who didn’t have time or money for a college course—and of course online is more flexible for them. Plus, I’ve always loved helping writers create community for support and learning. So I came up with the Poetry Parlor, and it has been just so exciting to see members joining in, creating poems and already learning a lot, even after just two months.”

Poetry Parlor started in March, and May is its third month. New members are welcome at any time; if you join late in the month, your membership will be applied to the next month’s activities. Brian says, “We have a committed, friendly, and very supportive community of poets in the Parlor, ranging from someone who has a book coming out, to someone who wrote his first ever poem this month! I’m look forward to welcoming more folks who’d like to try us out.”

For more information and to join, please go to CLICK HERE.

HELP US CELEBRATE THE 4,100th blog post – For the next two weeks Brian is offering 50% off the first month of Standard membership of the Poetry Parlor. Use the code: MAINEARTSED50 when signing up for a membership. In addition, if you check out Brian’s site and return to this blog post and ‘leave a comment’ below about Brian’s Poetry Parlor you will receive a FREE handmade face mask! If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me at meartsed@gmail.com.

3 comments

  1. Interesting……


  2. What a wonderful idea!!! I am in the process of designing a poetry unit for ESL students. This poetry club will be great!!!


  3. I am sure you’ll love the class and Brian Carmel. He became a teaching artist leader with MALI I think the year after you were active. I’m sure you two will connect!
    Thanks for your comment. ~Argy



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