There is nothing more beneficial to students than hands on learning. Pelorus Press wants to support this kind of tactile learning by bringing poets into your classroom. Our visiting poets program pairs your class with a working poet, who will host two classes with your students, one for writing poetry and one for revising.
The first class will be filled with different fun writing prompts. These prompts are interactive and get kids excited about writing poetry. At the end of the writing session, everyone will share what they came up with—even if just notes. Everyone around the table will share positive feedback. The poet will share what works and what they believe each person should pursue with their poetry. We then ask the teacher to assign the students to finish their draft as homework.
The poet will return for a second class to help the students revise their work. The poet will give prompts that allow the students to play with the poem. These prompts will ask the students to create different forms, use different words, expand, compress—all working off of their original piece. At the end of the exercise students will discuss what they discovered within the editing process. How did the understanding of their poem change? What changes revealed something new they had never thought of before? What worked for them and what did not?
These writing workshops will be an important exploration into the editing process. Revision is an important skill to learn as it always leads to new discoveries within our work. It allows us as writers to view our writing from different perspectives. This process of revision also helps us overcome the fear of writing. At times, a blank piece of paper can seem daunting. Yet, when someone trusts in his or her own ability to revise, suddenly it becomes less scary. The pressure is off –there is a possibility to retool the piece. A first draft is no longer the last draft.
Speaking on a larger scale, learning how to edit and how to continue to persevere through a series of drafts teaches us about continuing to try to reach our goals. It teaches us that a mistake is not a set back, but is instead a learning opportunity that brings us to new understanding. The editing process is a lesson in resilience and it is an exercise of trust. Trust in yourself and in your work; it is a belief that, although a piece of writing may not yet be where it is meant to be, that you as a writer will get it there.
Currently, this program is only available in New York City and the surrounding areas.
Please reach out to us to schedule a visiting poet in your classroom