Coursera's Poetry Offerings

Have you taken any?

Do you enjoy learning about poetry from a teacher rather than on your own? Or maybe you just want to discuss it with fellow learners. Online poetry classes can be found all over the place and Coursera has several great offerings for those interested.

University of PA's Modern and Contemporary American Poetry is a wonderful class. I can't speak for the other classes from experience but there are poetry workshops, classes about songs and poetry and many other offerings that you might be interested in.

Where do you take poetry classes online? Share your links in the chat.

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Poetry Resolutions

Do you have any?

As we launch into another semester of poetry study in my home, I know one of my goals is to make sure we include more diverse voices in our reading. My teen enjoys Maya Angelou and Langston Hughes but I don't really know many modern poets and I'd like to remedy that. I'd also like to include lots of different poetry styles and voices.

Another thing I'd love to do is write more poetry challenges. I love prompt challenges and just don't have a lot of time to spend on them. If you have some, please send them our way!

Do you have any poetry resolutions for 2021? Share them in the chat! 

New Year's Poems

Share yours in the chat

Are you still working on your six-word memoirs for 2020? If you have yours, be sure to share it with us! I've played with mine and come up with a few:

Quarantine and hygge dreams at home

Shining up the house in masks

Isolation, innovation, and making do daily

Yeah, I'm not a big fan of them, either, so I may keep playing!

In the meantime, are there any special New Year's poems that you turn to at this time of year? There are a lot of good ones here, but  there are a lot of poems that could be used for this purpose even if they don't pertain to the New Year. I know Dickinson's "Much Madness is Divinest Sense" came to mind for me for several recent New Year's Eves...

So what poems are you enjoying right now? Any that you're carrying into the New Year? Share them in the chat.

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Six-Word Memoir

What's yours for the year?

The six-word memoir is one of the most fun, easy ways to commemorate your year. There's no pressure to write a daily record or journal; just six quick words to form an overall impression. You can read the examples at the link for some fun examples. It makes for beautiful reading!

If you did want to make one for every day of the year, it would also end up being one neat time capsule that's both poetic and meaningful to you. It's also a fun way to do a quick end of the year wrap up if your usual annual review feels like too much (or too little) this year.

Will you be writing one, or have you written a six-word memoir before? Share it in the chat.

Prompts, Book Ideas And Poetry Tips

Have you tried AllPoetry?

Back before I became a parent, I used to write poetry daily. AllPoetry was one of my favorite places to share it, critique others' poems and, most of all, take part in challenges and contests by other poets. Sometimes I'd eve host my own.

AllPoetry also has a helpful newsletter, so if you don't like the idea of sharing your writing with others, you can always just sign up for that to receive poetry prompts, book suggestions, writing tips and more in your inbox.

What other poetry resources do you know of that are helpful to writers? Share them in the chat!

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Virtual Poetry Games

Share your favorites!

It's our homeschool co-ops planning month as we finish this semester and start planning the next one. I've been wanting to do a poetry class or two to go with the unit we're doing at home (many homeschoolers plan their offerings this way!) and I was thinking of hosting some fun poetry games for the kids.

One of my favorite poetry games is to find 10 nouns in your environment and write quick, three-sentence poems about each one. It's such a great exercise to make you think fast and you often come up with really cool ideas to further explore. It's an exercise that I believe I learned from Anne Lamott.

I'm also toying with the idea of an alphabetical game where we all come up with words for the same letter, or to just have the kids do a round robin style poem.

What poetry games do you like to play? Share them in the chat.

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Hosting a Virtual Poetry Slam

Share your tips in the chat!

Poetry slams get such bad raps but in reality they can be so much fun. They don't always have to be insightful backstories to tragic rappers, either; they can just be a means of a fun and creative getaway from reality. They're also great practice for public speaking. We can do poetry slams from home, too, which is what I'd love to pick everyone's brain about today!

Our homeschool co-op is planning our next semester of online programming and I was thinking of hosting a poetry slam. I think some great ways to do that in an online setting is to keep it kind and positive, use features like highlighting the speaker and muting everyone else (I've discovered that's a key feature for any class where you have the students take turns sharing, as some want to dominate the conversation!) and if they don't have a poem or want to come up with one on the spot, maybe provide them with a few fun, short poems before the slam they could practice with or use.

Have you ever held a virtual poetry slam? How did it go? Share your tips with us in the chat.

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Fall is Perfect for Poetry Teatime

Try this ritual for some hygge in your life

We've discussed poetry teatime here at Poetry Talk before but it's been a while, and I wanted to bring up the beautiful tradition for those who might be interested in it. It's a weekly ritual from Brave Writer that involves sharing poems that you enjoy with loved ones every week, complete with tea and snacks.

I love how you can make the practice as elaborate or simple as you like. Sometimes we pick up snacks and whatever drink is new at Aldi, and sometimes we'll bake our own treats to share. You want to invite people who participate to bring their own poems to read, ones they've chosen to read aloud because they enjoy them and not for any other purpose. It's not a place for mandatory reading!

The snacks and tea are wonderful, but my favorite part is putting out a really pretty tablecloth we have reserved just for teatime. Have you ever tried having a poetry teatime? Share how you enjoy the weekly ritual in the chat.

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"Brown Girl, Brown Girl"

Leslé Honoré’ pens poem of the year

Have you read Leslé Honoré’'s beautiful poem "Brown Girl, Brown Girl" yet? When she heard the news of Kamala Harris becoming the next Vice President of the United States, she had to hurry and get the words down on her notes app. I'm sure I'm not alone in saying I'm glad she didn't forget them.

The poem is a revision of a previous one and it celebrates Harris's incredible victory. It also went viral after she shared it, becoming a part of that amazing moment Americans shared with one another.

What other poems have inspired you lately? How did this poem move you? 

"Dance Poems for an Online World"

Artists collaborating while distancing

It's really hard for artists to collaborate while simultaneously social distancing, especially those who create physical art through mediums like dance. Zoom has allowed many artists, such as Afrobeat dance group Dzana, to connect remotely and create art with each other despite the distance.

The group worked to create a "digital dance poem" that doesn't only share their art with the world online, but also serves to inspire and connect others to join the same with their various mediums, whether it be dance, poetry and other arts. 

How have you collaborated with other artists online?