poetry
in the classroom

Poetry in the Classroom aims to introduce students to basic concepts of poetry, bring professional writers into classrooms, create relationships between local poets and teachers, and provide opportunities for students to publish and perform their work. We hope exposure to new creative tools is a source of empowerment – and joy! – for local youth.

 

About Elk River’s

poetry in the classroom

Poetry in the Classroom is a collaboration between Elk River Arts & Lectures and the Livingston School District that grew out of a partnership with Humanities Montana launching their Gather Round program, encouraging community-wide conversations about “hearth” and place.

Now a stand-alone program, Poetry in the Classroom aims to introduce students to basic concepts of poetry; create relationships between local poets, students, and teachers; and provide opportunities for students to publish and perform their work. We hope exposure to new forms of creative expression is a source of empowerment – and joy! – for local youth.

In spring 2024, local poets Michael Earl Craig, Max Hjortsberg, Tessa Moeckel, & Yetta Stein visited East Side Elementary, where they taught fourth graders about poetry. Together, they read and analyzed the poetry of Wallace Stevens, Ada Limón, Emily Dickinson, and other famous poets.

The students then wrote their own poems. Incorporating recent lessons on figurative language, students included similes in their poems, each of which reflect on one the four seasons.  

After the fourth graders completed their poems, they were delivered to Park High School art students, who illustrated some of the poems. Eighty-nine fourth graders and twenty-four high school students participated.

All of the student poems and accompanying illustrations appear in a chapbook. To obtain a free copy (available June 2024), visit Elk River Books, email director@elkriverarts.org, or come to one of our upcoming events! 

Chapbook design by Marc Beaudin.

You can see students reading their poems in these videos by Arthouse Billy Studios.

Elk River Arts & Lectures would like to extend our gratitude to Eva Lighthiser, Principal Shannon, Librarian Hampson, Mrs. Mussetter, Ms. Janice, Mrs. Fairchild, Mrs. Gilbert, Mrs. Salloux, Mrs. Schneeman, Mrs. Sullivan, and Mr. Ballard. 

Thank you to Humanities Montana, the Community Closet Thrift Store, and donors to the Kari King Poetry Fund for supporting this program.

2022 Poetry in the Classroom, with poets Marc Beaudin, Meriweather Campbell, Michael Earl Craig, & Max Hjortsberg. 

Poetry in the Classroom was featured in the Livingston Enterprise on April 13, 2022. To see the story, click here: 

https://www.livingstonenterprise.com/content/poetry-motion

 

2023 Poetry in the Classroom, with poets Marc Beaudin, Michael Earl Craig, Max Hjortsberg, & Tessa Moeckel.