Promoting Poetry for All

Renee Angle, the UA Poetry Center
March 25, 2013

WordPlay, a blog managed by the UA Poetry Center, is a space for parents, teachers and community artists who are looking for inspiration and ideas about ways to bring literature and language into the lives of young people.

The blog is intended to address a larger concern uncovered by The Poetry Foundation’s 2006 study, “Poetry in America,” the first national, in-depth survey of people’s attitudes toward and experiences with poetry.

The study revealed that parents often don’t know what to read, in terms of poetry, once their children grow out of Dr. Seuss. Teachers, too, are sometimes at a loss about how to incorporate poetry into the classroom in dynamic and engaging ways.

Since parents and teachers are the people introducing poetry to young people the most, WordPlay helps the Poetry Center connect to those who are doing amazing things and share it with others who may like to make use of these resources. The blog features working lesson plans; poems written by participants in our Poetry Joeys workshops; lesson plans, tips, and resources on preparing for and practicing participating in the National Poetry Out Loud program; recommended reading lists and many other treasures.

Here are a few of my favorite posts:

  • Lydia Millet, Pulitzer Prize finalist, Penn-USA winner, and author of "Love in Infant Monkeys" as well as many other books for non-children and a trilogy of novels for young adults shares a recommended reading list
  • A compilation of audio recordings revolving on the theme of family from voca
  • Three short poems written at our Family Days program on Jan 26  sprung from the lines of famous poems 
  • Poet Laynie Browne conducts an interview with her two sons about their own writing and each share a poem

WordPlay is written by several interns and staff, and also includes contributions from K-12 students. Posts appear twice a week, and you can follow WordPlay on Facebook for regular updates.

Renee Angle is a UA Poetry Center program coordinator who develops education and outreach programs for Tucson youth. The Poetry Center also offers Poetry Joeys workshops through its Family Days program and the Corrido Contest for high school students. Also, the Poetry Center serves as the southern Arizona regional partner to the Arizona Commission on the Arts in administering the National Poetry Out Loud program.


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