Thursday, December 10, 2015

POL is Picking Up!

It's nearly mid-December and that means holiday break is right around the corner. We have a few updates on contest info and logistics as well as a few new resources.

Logistics and Important POL Info

The Student Poetry Clinic is happening Jan. 9th and registration is open! Please RSVP by EventBrite and then click "Contact Organizer" to provide an estimate for the number of students you plan to send.

Once you have held your school/group contest you should submit your Student Information Form through SurveyMonkey. You will need to submit the form twice - once for your champion and once for the alternate. It will probably be easiest to sit down with your student and fill this out together as we do require personal information such as parent/guardian name, phone, etc. If you'd rather type this information and send to me by email, you can download this Word version instead.

There have been a few last minute changes to semi-final groups as well as the addition of one new school, bringing us to 42 total! Here is a copy of the final list for you to download or reference the image below.

Resources for YOU

Create some buzz around POL! A Word version of the press release template shared by the NEA is available on the Arts Council's website - this is a great tool to promote your school competition and results.

The Arts Council has also created these jazzy promotional flyers for each semi-final event - you can find them here: SNHU, NHIA, Jean's, NEC! These would be great to hand out at your school competition and could encourage folks to attend the semi's! (Thank you, Emily!)

Here is a cool article on the "art of short story writing" and some creative ways to bring together arts and writing prompts. (H/T to Catherine for this one!)

If you or a teacher at your school would like to bring a poet into the classroom please contact Gordon Lang from Kingswood Regional High School - glang@govwentworth.k12.nh.us. Gordon is the Treasurer of the Poetry Society of NH and can help arrange this. (Thank you, Gordon!)

Don't forget - you can post your own questions, suggestions, resources, etc. on the Teacher's Forum page - it takes everyone to participate to make this work and be of any value so thanks in advance!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Teacher Orientation Summary & Resources

The two Teacher Orientations were both a great success, so thank you all for your time, for sharing your questions, and offering your resources and best practices. Below you will find detailed notes from the two sessions (compiled) as well as links to the resources and tools are referenced in the notes.

Please leave questions in the comments section or email nhpol.coordinator@gmail.com.

Teacher Orientation Notes

Classroom Tips:
For Your Contests:

Friday, October 23, 2015

Teacher Orientation and Important Dates

Teacher Orientations 
The dates for this year's Teacher Orientations have been set! The first orientation will be held November 16th at the New Hampshire Institute of Art (NHIA) in the French Building. The second orientation will be Tuesday, November 17th at the Pease Public Library in Plymouth and will be in the Community Room. Both orientations will run from approximately 4-6PM.

Please click here to sign up for one session.

Attendance is strongly encouraged for all schools - new and experienced - as this is key checkpoint to ensuring a successful year of POL! We will have Teachers Guides there for you to pick up as well as helpful resources and light refreshments.

Other Important Program Dates: 2015-2016
These have been added to the right-hand sidebar on this blog and are also listed below.

  • Nov. 16th - NHIA Teacher Orientation 
  • Nov. 17th - Plymouth Teacher Orientation
  • Jan. 9th - Student Poetry Clinic (snow date, Jan. 10th)
  • Feb. - Judge Training (dates TBD)
  • Feb. 19th - Deadline for holding school competition
  • Feb, 29th - NHIA Semi-Final
  • Mar. 3rd - Jean's Playhouse Semi-Final
  • Mar. 7th - SNHU Semi-Final
  • Mar. 9th - New England College Semi-Final 
  • Mar. 21st - State Finals at the State House *not confirmed

New Details on NHIA Scholarship Offers

The New Hampshire Institute of Art (NHIA) is offering two very generous scholarships to New Hampshire Poetry Out Loud students and teachers. School or group contest champions and alternates who choose to enroll at NHIA will be awarded a $10,000, four-year, renewable scholarship! And teachers - lest you be overlooked! - you are now eligible for a $5,000 renewable scholarship should you enroll in any one of NHIA's low-res MFA programs. We are very grateful to have such a strong partnership with NHIA and hope many of you and your students are able to take advantage of these offers.

You can find full details on the NHIA website or in the letter below.

If you have any questions please contact Caitlin Delaney at nhpol.coordinator@gmail.com or Nick Cheney at nicholascheney@nhia.org.

The Semi-Final Dates and Venues are Set!

The dates, snow dates, and venues for New Hampshire's four, regional, semi-finals have been finalized! We are grateful to all of our host sites for having us back this year.
  1. February 29, 2016, New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester (snow date, March 1, 2016)
  2. March 3, 2016, Jean's Playhouse in Lincoln (snow date, March 4, 2016)
  3. March 7, 2016, Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester (snow date, March 8, 2016)
  4. March 9, 2016, New England College in Henniker (snow date, March 10, 2016)
In the coming weeks, we will assign each school or group to a semi-final. In making these assignments out goal is to minimize you and your student's travel time to the competition while also ensuring we have balanced and even-sized groups at each event. If you have a strong preference for one venue or date please let Caitlin know ASAP by emailing her at nhpol.coordinator@gmail.com.

The state finals date and snow date are still being finalized but will be shared as soon as they are confirmed.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Meet two "genius" poets!

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation recently announced their 2015 class of grantees. These so-called "genius grants" are unique in many ways, notably that there is no application process and the prize money ($625,000 over five years) is given with no strings attached to help support the grantee and encourage them to explore their area of interest without financial risks. This year, two poets - 72-year old Ellen Bryant Voigt of Vermont, and 36-year old Ben Lerner of New York - were selected as grantees. Voigt's recent work includes Headwaters (2013), Messenger: New and Selected Poems 1976-2006, and Shadow of Heaven (2002). Lerner's work includes Mean Free Path (2010); Angle of Yaw (2006), which was a finalist for the National Book Award; and Mean Free Path (2010). His sonnet sequence, The Lichtenberg Figures (2004), won the Hayden Carruth Award, was chosen by Library Journal as one of the year’s 12 best poetry book. 

Students' conventional wisdom may suggest poetry is old, inaccessible, or boring but introducing them to these two "genius" poets (and their fellow class of grantees, perhaps) may just get a new conversation started!

2015 MacArthur "Genius" Award Recipients and poets Ellen Bryan Voigt and Ben Lerner

Monday, September 21, 2015

Welcome to the 2015-2016 Program!

Hello Teachers and POL Coordinators!

We are off to a great start this year with 30 schools already registered to participate in the New Hampshire POL program! We have 4 new schools signed up so please remember this blog is one way to connect with one another, share resources, ask for advice, and support the overall success of this program! Leave comments, ask questions, and share your insights!

Registration ends November 2nd so if you know other schools who are hoping to join, please encourage them to sign up soon before we hit our 40-school maximum!

This year we have a big change to how students will be scored. The category, "level of complexity" has been eliminated and elements such as length of poem and language should now be considered as part of the "overall performance" of the recitation. The POL Judge's Guide provides more information on this and the NEA will be conducting a Judge Training webinar on Sept. 30th fro 3-4pm EST for those who can attend. You must register in advance!

The beginning of the school year is undoubtedly busy and so we wanted to kick this year off with some suggestions on how students can engage in poetry on their own, out in the community. This is a great way to encourage students to explore poems and poetry before you begin your POL lessons and classroom and school competitions.

  • Encourage students to engage with poetry in their local or virtual community by: 
These are all great ways for students to connect with poets and poems all year long! Do you have additional ideas? Please comment and share!