1st Edition

Poem Central Word Journeys with Readers and Writers

By Shirley McPhillips Copyright 2014

    In everything we have to understand, poetry can help. Tony Hoagland, Harper's , April 2013 In Poem Central: Word Journeys with Readers and Writers , Shirley McPhillips helps us better understand the central role poetry can play in our personal lives and in the life of our classrooms. She introduces us to professional poets, teachers, and students----people of different ages and walks of life---who are actively engaged in reading and making poems. Their stories and their work show us the power of poems to illuminate the ordinary, to nurture, inspire and stand alongside us for the journey. Poem Central is divided into three main parts-;weaving poetry into our lives and our classrooms, reading poems, and writing poems. McPhillipshas structured the book in short sections that are easy to read and dip into. Each section has a specific focus, provides background knowledge, shows poets at work, highlights information on crafting, defines poetic terms, features finished work, includes classroom examples, and lists additional resources. In Poem Central -; a place where people and poems meet-;teachers and students will discover how to find their way into a poem, have conversations around poems, and learn fresh and exciting ways to make poems. Readers will enjoy the dozens of poems throughout the book that serve to instruct, to inspire, and to send us on unique word journeys of the mind and heart.

    Part 1: Coming Into a World of Poetry; Poems that Speak to Us; The Soil of Poetry; Building Up a Friendship with Poetry: Structures and Rituals; Poetry MTWTF (Aka Poetry Friday); Young Poets Blogging; Part 2: Reading a Poem: An Immense Intimacy; The Shape of It; Titles Leading Us into a Poem; The Music of It: Reading for Sound; Connecting with a Poem; Dealing with Difficulty; Poem Talk; Who is the Speaker in a Poem?; Part 3: Finding Poems, Making Poems; Dances with Words; Poems Waiting to be Found; Line by Line; The Occasional Poem; Poems for All Seasons; Poets Facing Art: Ekphrastic Poems; Putting on the Mask: Persona Poems; Here's Looking at You: Homage Poems; The Great Shout-Out: Invective Poems; Writing in the Wake of a Poem; Poem Central: The Mystery and Miracle of Words


    SHIRLEY MCPHILLIPS coauthored, with Nick Flynn, A Note Slipped Under the Door: Teaching from Poems We Love (Stenhouse, 2000). She is poet laureate for Choice Literacy online. She has published poems in Sewanee Review, Compass Rose, Journal of New Jersey Poets, Edison Literary Review, Poets Online, and elsewhere. A teacher for many years, literacy consultant, and speaker, Shirley also paints, travels, sings sixteenth-century music, and walks with nature. She is writing a poetry collection tentatively titled Bowing to Doves.

    “Shirley McPhillips brings us face to face with a beautiful truth: that while in many ways poetry is in hiding, the truth is that it is hiding in plain sight. McPhillips expresses this in a lovely way that gives us permission to interact with poetry on our own terms, to allow it to cohabit, so to speak, with our curriculum” - MiddleWeb
    "Packed with tips, techniques and practical tools, this book is a focused and valuable resource for poets, teachers, and poets-in-the-making." - Drew Myron blog