Have No Fear: Poetry's Here
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Have No Fear: Poetry's Here

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Strategies for Engaging Patrons during National Poetry Month and Beyond

Strategies for Engaging Patrons during National Poetry Month and Beyond

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  • Our collection includes many rare works and first editions, chapbooks (which are small press books produced in limited runs), audio recordings, broadsides, anthologies, and critical works.
  • Closing your eyes while you read, encourages people to listen to the sound of the words and the materiality of the language.
  • Who’s in the Book—Lesson plans and inspirational essays by poets about their experiences bringing the joy of poetry to kids, there is also a roundtable conversation among people who've helped to set up or run poetry education centers in the U.S mixture of essays, interviews, and lesson plans about how to share the joy of poetry with kids.
  • The Arcadia Project- North American Postmodern Pastoral – Ashanta Press
  • POETRY from the Poetry FoundationiOS: iPhone or iPadAndroidBrowse by mood, subject, audio poems, save favorites, share poems by email, on Facebook or Twitter.

Have No Fear: Poetry's Here Have No Fear: Poetry's Here Presentation Transcript

  • Have No Fear, Poetry’s Here Getting Patrons Excited about Poetry: Solutions for National Poetry Month and BeyondCatherine Halley, Director of Digital ProgramsKatherine Litwin, Library Director
  • Meet the Poetry Foundation Mission: The Poetry Foundation— publisher of Poetry magazine— exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience.
  • Catherine Halley Digital Programs Director Poetry Foundation Catherine leads the digital initiatives at the Poetry Foundation, where she serves as Editor of poetryfoundation.org, and oversees the development of digital products, including the award-winning POETRY mobile app. Prior to joining the Poetry Foundation, she was the online editor at gURL.com and Domino magazine.
  • Katherine Litwin Library Director Poetry Foundation Katherine manages the library at the Poetry Foundation, where she is responsible for developing interactive programing for children and adults and cultivating its collection. Prior to her work with the Poetry Foundation, she was the Library Services Coordinator at the Donors Forum, and a Librarian at the Pierre Burton Resource Library in Ontario.
  • Poetry Foundation Library
  • Poetry Foundation LibraryThe Poetry Foundation library in Chicago is theMidwest’s only library exclusively devoted to poetry.Patrons may access the collection through the use ofour reading room. Since we’re a non-circulatinglibrary we have a strong focus on engaging patronswith the collection through programming.
  • Poetry Foundation Websites
  • poetryfoundation.org• Curated archive of 20K poems• 3K poet biographies• Poetry magazine online• Full digital archive of Poetry magazine• Audio poems/podcasts• Feature articles & educational resources• Harriet blog aggregates poetry news
  • poetryoutloud.org
  • Poetry Out LoudPoetry Out Loud is a national poetry recitationcontest for high school students sponsored by theNational Endowment for the Arts, the PoetryFoundation, and State Arts Organizations. It starts atthe classroom level. Winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to a regional and/or statecompetition, and ultimately to the National Finals.The top three students are awarded $20,000,$10,000, and $5,000.
  • Patrons and Poetry
  • Talking about Poetry Patrons may feel intimidated when it comes to talking about poetry. As do many librarians. It’s helpful to know that everyone feels this way. Here are some strategies for talking about poetry that you can use in book groups and on a one-and-one basis.
  • Programming: Book GroupsDon’t be afraid to discuss poetry in your book groups. It’sokay if you encounter a book of poems or a single poemand you don’t know what the poem means.If you’re worried that patrons will be put off, integrate itwith other genres. Try adding a book of poems in themix.Once you’re in the room with patrons, read the poemtwice aloud. On the second read through, ask the bookgroup to close their eyes.
  • Close Your Eyes and ListenThe Question of My Mother by Robin EkissThe question of my mother is on the table.The dark box of her mind is also there,the garden of everywherewe used to walk together.Among the things the body doesnt know,it is the dark box I return to most:fallopian city engrained in memory,ghost-orchid egg in the arboretum,hinged lid forever bending back and forth —open to me, then closedlike the petals of the paperwhite narcissus.What would it take to make a city in me?Dark arterial streets, neglected ovaryhard as an acorn hidden in its dark boxon the table: Mother, I amout of my mind, spilling everywhere.
  • Tips for Moving the Discussion Along:• talk about how the language makes you feel• what imagery is in the poem• who the speaker is• who the audience is• line breaks -- why lines are broken as they are• diction -- what words or lines stand out• what sounds are prevalent in the poem
  • Children’s Book Groups The same strategies that work for adults work for teens and children. In fact, children may be more receptive to experiencing the materiality of language.
  • Discussing Poetry with Children• Pick poems that children can related to• Don’t be afraid to use poems that were written for an adult audience with children. These often work well. We’ve had success with poems by Robert Frost, Gwendolyn Brooks, and W. S. Merwin.• Stopping by Woods on Snowy Evening, for instance
  • Caroline Kennedy
  • Forthcoming
  • Questions to Ask Children• Ask the same kinds of questions you ask adults: What lines stand out? What images stand out? Do you like the person speaking in the poem? Would you want to be friends with that person? If the poem is about a place, is this a place you want to visit?• Include a writing component in addition to reading – ask students to write a poem using the original poem as inspiration.
  • Open the Door Collection of essays by poets about how to excite young people about poetry, edited by Dorothea Lasky, Dominic Luxford, and Jesse Nathan. See starred Booklist review March 15, 2013 ―unique and inspiring collection of essays, a roundtable discussion with 18 leaders of literary organizations…and smart and lively lesson plans for poets, educators, librarians, and other enthusiasts …‖ –Donna Seaman
  • Open the DoorSample Exercises:Travis Nichols: Dream JournalMatthew Zapruder: Bad Title Exercise
  • Order InfoApril 2013: McSweeney’sFree PDF at:poetryfoundation.org/openthedoor
  • Children’s Poetrywww.poetryfoundation.org/children
  • Children’s Poet LaureateJ. Patrick Lewis: Economics teacher turned poetMonthly Children’s Poetry Book Pick poetryfoundation.org/childrensEssential Children’s CollectionBibliography of children’s poetry books: poetryfoundation.org/children/essential/ant
  • Strategies for Developing an Adult Poetry CollectionSmall budget, Broad range:• Order from a variety of publishers: both small press and more established publishing houses.• Some esteemed small presses are: Graywolf, Coffee House, Copper Canyon, City Lights, FSG.• More established publishers with good poetry lists are: Norton, HarperCollins, Penguin.
  • Anthologies• Anthologies are an easy way to broaden the breadth of your collection and expose readers to poets they may not encounter otherwise.• Two recent anthologies I’ve enjoyed are: The Arcadia Project, edited by Joshua Corey and G.C. Waldrep, and The Open Door edited by Christian Wiman and Don Share
  • The Open Door The Open Door: 100 Poems 100 Years of Poetry Magazine Edited by Don Share & Christian Wiman A selection of 100 poems from the history of the magazine. Published by University of Chicago Press.
  • Community-Based Collection Development• Look at who’s in your community and what they want to read. Your constituents may be interested in poetry from a particular place or culture. For example, if you’re community includes a large Spanish-speaking population, you’ll want to develop that collection. Examples: Pablo Neruda, Frederico Garcia Lorca, Sandra Cisernos, Roberto Bolano, Raul Zurita• African-American: Kevin Young, Terrance Hayes, Rita Dove, Natasha Trethewey, Thomas Sayers Ellis• GLBTQ: Reginald Shepherd, Rafael Campo, Audre Lorde, D.A. Powell, Eileen Myles, Julian Brolaski
  • Prize-Winners• National Book Award, Pulitzer Prize, Yale Younger Poets, Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize
  • Programming: DisplaysHow to merchandise your poetry books so they get morecirculation:Integrate with other topics – look for thematic tie ins:• Display about ecology/nature: Mary Oliver• Display about war: Gary Snyder or Yusef Komunyakaa• Display about love and being single: Rachel Wetzsteon• Display about urban life: Carl Sandburg
  • Programming: Displays• Travel: pair travel books with regional poets (Spain/Frederico Garcia Lorca, Midwest/Lorine Niedecker, New York/Frank O’Hara)
  • Programming: Displays• Television and Poetry: pair ―Mad Men‖ with Frank O’Hara and Dante, ―Breaking Bad‖ and Walt Whitman
  • Online Resourcespoetryfoundation.org Online archive of more than 20K poems Browse by themes and categories such as: • love • nature • holidays • occasions
  • Poet Recommendations Find poets by: • school of poetry • region • birthdate • gender
  • Learning Lab poetryfoundation.org/lear ninglab • educational resources • discussion questions, teaching tips, writing ideas • articles for teachers & students • glossary • audio
  • Podcasts Poetry off the Shelf Bi-weekly discussion about poetry hosted by Curtis Fox. Poetry Magazine Podcast Editors discuss poems and prose from the issue each month.
  • POETRY Mobile Apppoetryfoundation.org/mobile
  • Poetry Readers AdvisoryWhen people ask us for recommendations, we’ll startby asking similar questions that one would ask whendoing other types of readers advisory.Who do they like? What do they connect to in thework – subject matter or style? That will help youmake a recommendation.
  • Most People KnowThe Dead Poets Society
  • Popular Contemporary Poets You May Not Know.
  • Poetry Readers Advisory If someone comes in and they like a particular poet—Sylvia Plath, for example—you can ask them what they like: Tone Subject matter
  • Biographies:poetryfoundation.org • To find a poet similar to Plath, you might look up Plath on poetryfoundation.org, and look at how she’s categorized on her bio page. • Note that she’s a ―confessional poet‖.
  • One Possible Pairing Sylvia Plath = Confessional Poet = Anne Sexton
  • Browse for Similar Subjects If someone says they like Sylvia Plath because she writes about gender, for instance, you could browse for poems by that subject under social commentary.
  • Finding Similar Poems If someone has a favorite poem, you can try to look it up on poetryfoundation.org. If it’s there, it may have tags or categories associated with it. You can click on these tags to find similar poems.
  • Poetry Readers AdvisoryPeople who gravitate to a poet who’s got a strongnarrative, will often like other poets with a similarstyle.Or if people are interested in a particular theme likewar – they will often enjoy war poetry.
  • Poetry Readers AdvisoryComplete novice: What do you like to read ingeneral?What kind of writers? If they like lyrical novels, theymight like poets with similarly evocative languagelike Joanna Klink or Robin Ekiss or CatherineWagner.If they enjoy something with a stronger narrative,they might like poets with narrative-based verse likeSharon Olds or Joshua Mehigan or Robert Hassor Dorothea Lasky.
  • Web-Based RecommendationsThe Poetry Foundation website has a browse feature &poem samplers organized by categories. You can findpoems by:• subject matter• holidays and occasions• poetic form• historical era• school of poetry
  • Calliope: Poem Recommendation EngineComing in 2014The Poetry Foundation is working on a web-basedrecommendation engine to help site visitors findpoems similar to the ones they like.This program will pair similar poems based on acombination of subject matter, style, tone, etc.Think of it as Pandora for Poems!
  • New BooksPink Thunder (book & CD) by Michael ZapruderBlack Ocean PressPoetry & Music
  • New BooksNo Object by Nathalie ShaperoSaturnalia Books, 2013
  • Questions?Catherine Halleychalley@poetryfoundation.orgKatherine Litwinklitwin@poetryfoundation.org
  • Thank You!