Poetry Central


Created by Lance Larsen, PhD, Utah Poet Laureate 2012-2017, Poetry Central is a clearinghouse of information for teachers, students, and anyone else interested in reading and writing poetry.


Reading Poetry

A great way to interact with poetry is by hearing poets read their own work. Visit our Bite-Size Poetry page to watch videos of notable Utah poets reading short poems. If you want to see a list of the videos in each YouTube playlist, click here: 2015 Bite-Size Poetry or here: 2009-2011 Bite-Size Poetry

Here are great websites for reading both classic and contemporary poetry:

Academy of American Poets

Poetry 180

Poetry Daily

Poetry Foundation

Verse Daily

Writing Poetry

We’ve gathered poetry prompts from many of the Bite-Size Poetry poets. Those noted with an asterisk (*) are exercises especially well-suited for K-12 classrooms.

*Shanan Ballam, “Mapping the Neighborhood”

Lisa Bickmore, “Invention and Discovery”

*Marilyn Bushman-Carlton, “Generating Poems from Epigraphs”

Rob Carney, “12 Tasks”

*Elaine Christensen, “A Suitcase Packed with Everyday Things”

*Chris Cokinos, “A Surrealist Game for Two”

Katharine Coles, “Centos, Pantoums, Erasure Poems”

Star Coulbrooke, “Writing Your Childhood”

*Brock Dethier, “A Thank-you Poem”

Craig Dworkin, “Found Poetry and Experimentation”

Siân Griffiths, “The Cinematic Eye: Writing Image-Driven Poems”

Ben Gunsberg, “Write a Rhapsody”

Jean Howard, “Writing Extreme Performance Poems”

*Kimberly Johnson, “Fifty Sentences”

Janine Joseph, “World into Word”

*Lance Larsen, “Pieces of Eight: Pocket Poetry Exercises”

Jason Olsen, “The Group Title Prompt”

Jacqueline Osherow, “Go to the Zoo”

Paisley Rekdal, “The Next Thing Always Belongs”

*Susan Roche, “Doo-Dads”

Natasha Sajé, “Poems Aware of History”

Susan Sample, “Best Words in the Best Order”

*Gail Schimmelpfennig, “Gifts to the Imagination”

Jon Sebba, “Twenty Little Poetry Projects”

Ned Snell, “Getting Started”

*Laura Stott, “The Train Station Poem”

Nancy Takacs, “Writing a Poem on a Road”

Visit the Poets & Writers page for some good poetry prompts online.
Visit the Academy of American Poets page for information about various poetry forms.
Dr. Larsen recommends these books with poetry exercises and prompts:

The Practice of Poetry: Writing Exercises From Poets Who Teach

The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts For Your Writing Practice

Wingbeats: Exercises and Practice in Poetry

The Utah State Poetry Society’s mission is “nurturing those with a desire to write poetry.”

Questions?

Alyssa Hickman Grove
Literary Arts, Communications, & Salesforce Support
801.236.7548