This book is unique. It offers readers opportunities to explore the most common universal themes taught in secondary English Language Arts classrooms using poetry; however, it doesn’t simply suggest poems grouped by common themes. Each poetry section presents a poetic conversation among the poets on each of the given eight themes. One of the poets initiates each section with an original poem, and the next poet responds to the first, initial, poem. The other poets join the conversation responding to the first, second, or any of the poems previously included in this section. The poems feature the themes of poetry, places, nature, beauty, and harmony, love, loyalty and betrayal, home and family, loss and grief, and dreams and hopes for the future. The three final chapters aim to explain how to use these poems, and poetry in general, in the classrooms and beyond its walls; to invite novice and experienced poets to create various forms of poetry; and to share views on poetry, its teaching, reading, and writing. The various poetry forms are explored in this volume to create poems that help deliver the author’s message. All poems are written exclusively for a diverse readership of the book.
Leilya A. Pitre is an Assistant Professor of English Education at Southeastern Louisiana University. She works with secondary English Education majors teaching methods courses, literary analysis, linguistics, and young adult literature.
Part I. Poetic Journey Through Literary Themes
Part II. Reading and Writing Poetry in Conversation
About the Editor
About the Contributors
Instruction manual, anthology, poetic conversation, meditation on teaching and writing—Where Stars Meet People: Teaching and Writing Poetry in Conversation does the work of an entire bookshelf. This thoughtful text exemplifies the tradition of poems and poets in conversation. In addition to the dialogue sustained by poetry, each section contains a brief lesson on a poetic form for use in a classroom setting. I've never encountered anything quite like Where Stars Meet People, but I can say with certainty that it will make an excellent addition to personal, classroom, and academic libraries.
Bored with your poetry unit and thinking you need a whole new approach? Where Stars Meet People offers a fresh take on making the teaching of poetry come alive, particularly for students intimidated by the genre. In a series of thematically linked threads, seven poets engage in poetic conversations. Responding to one another in a chain of poems prompted by a topic, for example “Where Paths Meet, Cross, or Come to an End,” readers will marvel at how the seed of an idea develops into an “Ode to My Welcome Mat." The resulting collections are thrilling. Using these linked poems as mentor texts, I predict your students will delight in playing their own game of poetic telephone tag and in the process come to see poetry as a living thing.
Poetry teaches. Though that teaching may not be explicit or readily assessed, poetry teaches us about language, about people, about the smooth and jagged edges of experience. So what happens when seven master teachers write poetry in conversation with one another, generate curriculum in conversation with teachers and classrooms, and extend invitations to write your own poetry? Conversations become constellations. Where Stars Meet People: Teaching and Writing Poetry in Conversation is like no other book in the universe. Look to the sky of these pages and you will be seeing an infinity of possibilities.
Many of the poems in this book are evocative of everyday places and circumstances; still, the poetry is always urgent and conjures the extraordinary. The authors playfully trace thematic and stylistic lines across their diverse contributions to invoke powerful narratives of how poetry unites and amplifies the human experience and its multitude of voices. As I read these poems and the pedagogical content binding them, I imagined myself young again, finding the tools and words to create, communicate, and connect.
Where Stars Meet People: Teaching and Writing Poetry in Conversation is full of fresh voices – thoughtful, sincere and powerful in the context of discovery. A text any educator can use in their classroom in a practical and thoughtful way to begin conversations about poetry, what it means to write poetry, and who gets to fuel the conversations by way of poetry. A reminder that conversations and daily life are poems waiting to take flight.