Open the Door: How to Excite Young People about Poetry

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Dorothea Lasky, Dominic Luxford, Jesse Nathan
McSweeney's Publishing, 2013 - Education - 400 pages
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This one-of-a-kind mixture of essays, interviews, and lesson plans gathers the best thinking about how we can impart the value and joy of poetry to kids.

The essays in the first section—from Matthea Harvey, Ron Padgett, William Stafford, Eileen Myles, Kenneth Koch, Theodore Roethke, and many others—illuminate the importance of poetry to a well-rounded education, in and out of traditional classroom settings. The next section is a roundtable conversation among a handful of creative men and women who’ve helped set up or run poetry education centers around the United States. In the book’s final segment, award-winning poets (Matthew Zapruder, Yusef Komunyakaa, many others) offer an array of brilliant lesson plans for people teaching poetry to kids of all ages.

Open the Door will be useful for first-time and veteran teachers, as well as parents, babysitters, MFAs with no job, and anyone else with an interest in poetry’s place in the lives of our younger citizens.

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About the author (2013)

Dorothea Lasky is the author of three poetry collections, AWE, Black Life, and the forthcoming Thunderbird, all published by Wave. She is a graduate of the MFA program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and she holds a doctorate in Creativity and Education from the University of Pennsylvania. She lives in New York City.

Dominic Luxford is the editor of The McSweeney’s Book of Poets Picking Poets (McSweeney’s, 2007), the founding poetry editor of the Believer magazine, and a founding editor of the McSweeney’s Poetry Series. For several years he tutored elementary school student for the H.E.A.R.T. program in Portland, Oregon. He lives in San Francisco.

Jesse Nathan is a founding editor of the McSweeney’s Poetry Series. He served as managing editor of The Best American Nonrequired Reading from 2009 to 2011 and lives south of San Francisco, where he edits books for McSweeney’s, writes poems, and works on a PhD in English Literature at Stanford.

Series Editor:
Ilya Kaminsky is the Director of the Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute at the Poetry Foundation. He is the author of Dancing in Odessa, and co-editor of The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry.

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