National Writing Project

Poem in Your Pocket Day

Date: April 26, 2012

Summary: In celebration of Poem in Your Pocket Day, this NWP Radio episode featured Joshua Mitchell, a youth poet at and Katie Robbins, Director of Educational Programming at Figment; Bud Hunt, teacher-consultant with the Colorado State University Writing Project; Chris Tsang and students from his Boston middle school; and Grant Faulkner, Executive Director of the Office of Letters and Light.


Excerpt from Show

Grant Faulkner, Executive Director of the Office of Letters and Light , on what prose writers can learn from poets:

...that sense of exploration. I've never heard of a poet who uses an outline. I always think of poets more like jazz musicians who are really following a rif of their emotions, a rif of what they notice in the world and just exploring that and seeing where it takes them. And I think that leads to the art of play which is exactly what Bud [Hunt] was talking about, especially with free verse. Poems just are constructed around play, whereas, you know, a novel, you gotta deal with your paragraphs, your sentence structure—there's a lot of confinement there. Of course you can play within that, but I think just poetry is built on play, and it's also built on attention to language. It's a cliché to say that poets paint with words, but they do. They write against cliché, scrutinize every word, challenge every word, and then create words—like E.E. Cummings—so I think that's something fiction writers can learn from as well.

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Duration: 1 hour

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