By Gillian Schneider, a teacher at Neuqua Valley High School and the recipient of the 2016 Penguin Random House Maya Angelou Teacher Award for Poetry.

maya angelouSitting at the NCTE secondary luncheon in November 2015, I found an application for the Penguin Random House Literacy Awards, including the Maya Angelou Poetry Award. I did not have a concrete idea of what I might propose, but by spring, I decided that I would make every effort to come up with something to support poetry awareness. I asked colleagues to read my application and suggest changes, and I asked students to help me with letters of support and haiku. The grant idea for “So You Want Me to Love Poetry? YES!” began as an appeal to students to stop saying “No” to poetry and start saying “Yes!” Once I submitted all of the required elements, I distracted myself. (more…)

Ballistics by Billy Collins

Got any budding poets in your classroom? Well, April is National Poetry Month, established in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets. According to www.poets.org, this is a time “when publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools and poets around the country band together to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture. Thousands of businesses and non-profit organizations participate through readings, festivals, book displays, workshops, and other events.”

What are your classes doing during National Poetry Month? We want to hear, so post your comments below!

Click here for a list of poetry books from Random House, Inc. you can incorporate into your class activities. Need to jazz up those classroom walls? Email us for a FREE Billy Collins Ballistics poster. Limited supplies.