Posts Tagged ‘The Poetry Place’


National Poetry Month

April 1, 2021

Happy new month

We can, and many educators do, use poetry and creative writing in their classrooms whether they teach English Language Arts or another subject. Many arts educators use poetry to enhance, dove-tail, and/or integrate into their arts subject. When Amanda Gorman recited her poem at the Presidential Inauguration in January it made a huge impression on citizens of all ages. If you’re not incorporating poetry into your arts classroom I can’t think of a better time to do so.

In recognition of National Poetry Month this post is about resources and opportunities about learning more about poetry. You may find it useful for yourself and for your students. If you have any resources please feel free to share at the bottom of this post or email me at and I can include them in a blog post for others to learn from.


  • Tim Needles is an artist and a veteran art teacher who uses poetry in his art classroom. The article Video Poems Add Digital Literacy to Creativity and Expression was authored by Jerry Fingal for the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) blog. Needles suggests places for teachers to start and tips for success in using the simplest forms of technology when making a visual poem. He also goes into ideas for connections with other subjects including STEAM ideas. “Teachers can start with simple poetry, like a haiku, and use whatever technology is available. As for images, nature is always good for visuals.” An aside, if you’re interested in technology standards ISTE is the place to look.
  • is a website filled with resources. You can subscribe (on the front page) and receive in your email box a “poem-a-day”. Each month there is a guest editor which changes the flavor month to month. You can read the poem or listen to it being recited. At the end there is a small segment called “about this poem” which provides interesting information about the poem. Very informative.
  • The Academy of American Poets is providing their Annual Gala, this year entitled Poetry & the Creative Mind. It is normally held in person but this year, the 18th celebration, will be held virtually. You can register at no cost. The event is on April 29, 7:30, and marks the 25th anniversary of National Poetry Month.
  • The Poetry Out Loud finals are held annual with each state represented by one high school student. If they’re lucky to make it through the three rounds they will each recite 3 poems that they have practiced over and over and know insider out. This year the national event will be held virtually with the semi-finals held on Sunday, May 3 and the finals on May 27. Both events will be streamlined on  You can learn more about the events at THIS LINK. The Poetry Out Loud site has a huge collection of poems that you can download.
  • If you’re interested in joining a group of people who are working on writing poetry consider participating in The Poetry Place. Maine Teaching Artist Brian Evans-Jones established the Poetry Place. Brian is a member of the Maine Arts Commission roster and has participated in the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (now MAEPL). For several years he was involved in Maine’s Poetry Out Loud (POL) program as a judge and he worked with two of our state representatives who represented Maine in the national POL program.
  • The Poetry Foundation has numerous resources including poems that you can read, download, and listen. Check out their site for all they have to offer.

Amanda Gorman

Just after the presidential inauguration Amanda told “CBS This Morning” co-host Anthony Mason: “Poetry is a weapon. It is an instrument of social change…and poetry is one of the most political arts out there because it demands that you rupture and destabilize the language in which you’re working with. Inherently, you are pushing against the status quo. And so for me, it’s always existed in that tradition of truth-telling.”


The Poetry Place

December 7, 2020

Teaching Artist Brian Evans-Jones

Maine is fortunate to have Brian Evans-Jones as a poet and writer. He has established a unique website called The Poetry Place. What’s so interesting about it is that he offers The Poetry Parlor to offer support and an online learning environment for participants to write poetry. If you’re interested in writing poetry or perhaps you write poetry but want to learn more about writing poetry, I recommend Brian and The Poetry Place. Here are some questions (from Brian’s site) that can help you get a better idea:

  • Do you want to write better poems?
  • Do you wish you knew more about the techniques of poetry?
  • Do you need help with ideas and getting poems written?
  • Would you love to connect with like-minded poets?

There are many free resources on the site including a 30 page .pdf that you can download. It is called 8 Steps to Better Poems and is filled with a plethora of ideas and information to guide you to writing better poems. The document is broken into 3 segments: Poetry Techniques, Mastering Drafting and Your Next Steps. You can’t go wrong since the document is free! I suggest that you check it out and recommend that your colleagues and students do the same. You can also sign up for his newsletter which is filled with inspiring ideas.


Poetry Parlor took me on a positive journey from using an existing poem as an idea to developing the first draft of my poem. The chosen poem and the discussions were inspirational in my own poetry writing.

Then, there were excellent tips on editing that helped to produce a published poem.”

— Sue B.

Brian is a teacher who is providing the motivation and guidance on an individual basis as well as providing time with others who write poetry. You can become a member of the parlor and benefit from following:

  • Getting authentic feedback and support from Brian and others
  • Learning techniques
  • Reading great poetry
  • Writing every month
  • Meeting other poets

Poetry Parlor can work for you if…

  • You have written poetry before, maybe for years, and you would like to broaden your knowledge and skills
  • You would like to learn more about the techniques and forms of poetry
  • You are looking for regular inspiration to help you create poems
  • You want to get feedback on your poems to help you improve
  • You want to know more about poetry being published now
  • You’re just starting poetry and would like some structure and guidance to help you
  • You’d like to get to know other poets in similar positions to yourself, for support, friendship, and encouragement.


I was Poet Laureate of Hampshire in the UK (where I used to live) in 2012‑13, and in America I won the Maureen Egen Award from Poets & Writers in 2017. I’ve had poems published in magazines, competitions, and art events on both sides of the Atlantic. And I’ve taught at three colleges/universities, visited dozens of schools as a visiting Teaching Artist, and worked with hundreds of adult students through my own workshops and courses.

Brian coached the Maine State Poetry Out Loud (POL) champion Joao Victor before he traveled to the national competition where he finished in the top 10. Brian served as a judge for POL during 206-2018. POL is open to all Maine high school students and administered by the Maine Arts Commission (MAC). Brian is a member of the MAC Teaching Artist roster and a Teaching Artist Leader with the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) established in 2011.

If you want to learn more check out the site and contact Brian at and please let him know I sent you.

%d bloggers like this: