The Artist's Way, A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity
, Tarcher, Putnam: New York, New York, 1992. Although bringing spirituality of any kind into the classroom can be a tricky thing Ms. Cameron does it in a way that opens kids up to the possibility of a higher power which may or may not be a muse or a channel for our own creativity. Her book is inspiring and freeing.
Making Your Own Days
, Touchstone: New York, New York, 1998. Koch's book helped verbalize things about poetry that I never thought could be verbalized. He really understands poetry and he knows how to get students of any age to understand poetry. Quotes from his work or assigned passages from his work will go a long way toward getting your students to appreciate and feel safe around poetry.
Koch, Kenneth and Kate Farrell,
Sleeping on the Wing
, Random House, 1981. I use this book now every year with my Honors level Seniors. Although the poems tend to be a bit esoteric rendering them unavailable to my lower level kids, they are fun for kids who have been scared away (not yet!) from a hard poem. It has everything from "Howl" to "Somewhere I have never travelled, gladly beyond", to "Song of Myself," and it has biographical information and creative writing assignments!
The Language of Life, A Festival of Poets
, Doubleday, 1995. When Moyers tackles a subject he does a good job. He clearly loves poetry and his love for the craft and for the writer comes through in this book. His interviews clarify and illuminate. The selections are interesting and poignant. There are many videos of his interviews floating around, either at Best Video or for purchase at Public Television.
Perrine, Laurence and Arp, Thomas,
Sound and Sense
, Harcourt Brace,1992. Personally this has been my poetry bible for teaching for the last 15 years. It has all the great poems including "The Ex Basketball Player", "Mending Wall" and "The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock.". It has questions to go along with them. It teaches rhyme and meter. It is easy to hold in one's hand. It has a range and a good selection.
Pinsky, Robert and Maggie Dietz, eds.,
Americans' Favorite Poems: The Favorite Poem Project Anthology
(New York: W.W. Norton, 2000). Robert Pinsky did this book as his project during his tenure as poet laureate of the country. He asked people throughout the country to send in their favorite poem. I heard him speak at the festival of Arts and Ideas and I was blown away. I then bought one of his books and was memerized. They were difficult for kids, however. But this collection is accesssible for most students and each selection has a written accompaniment of why they chose the poem they did. Those are helpful teaching tools.