Favorite Poem Project: The Summer Poetry Institute

The Fifteenth Annual Poetry Institute for Educators
July 25-29, 2016

Applications are invited for the 2016 Poetry Institute for K-12 Educators, the product of a unique collaboration between Boston University School of Education and the Favorite Poem Project, Boston University professor Robert Pinsky’s main undertaking during his three years as United States Poet Laureate. For the past fourteen summers, the Institute, led by Robert Pinsky, has provided educators from across the United States and abroad with a professional development experience based on the principles of the Favorite Poem Project. In conception, the project, with its videos at favoritepoem.org and popular anthologies, celebrates and documents poetry’s place in American culture. The Institute is devoted to improving poetry’s place in American classrooms.

The Institute encourages conversations among teachers about past successes, challenges, and insights in bringing poetry to students in their various communities. Teachers work in groups throughout the week to develop lessons inspired by FPP materials and by the presenters, award-winning American poets. Past faculty include poets Maggie Dietz, Mark Doty, David Ferry, Louise Glück, Major Jackson, Gail Mazur, Eric McHenry, Heather McHugh, Carl Phillips, and Rosanna Warren. The Institute offers participants a fresh, energizing approach to poems, invaluable materials for teaching, and refreshed ways to invigorate their instructional habits and practices. The central idea is that experience of the poem should precede analysis.

Download the 2016 Poetry Institute application here. Admissions are rolling. The final deadline for submission is July 15, 2016. Applicants will be informed of the decision within two weeks after the completed application and supporting materials have been received.

The registration fee for the Poetry Institute is $300. Housing and parking are available at reasonable rates.

The responses of past participants provide a testament to the Institute’s transformative potential in their lives as teachers and lovers of poetry.

What a lovely balance of being exposed to masters of the craft and having time to reflect with colleagues. A nice mix of pedagogy and content. I felt so fortunate to be in the presence of the poets, like a hungry new student (it made me want to go BACK to school!!). The focus on experiencing poems, not dissecting, analyzing, and assessing was so refreshing. I loved that the process of reading, writing, living, feeling poetry was the purpose.
–Stephani Lourie, Anderson School, Bozeman, MT

The poetry institute was a reaffirmation of why I love poetry as well as a reminder of why I became a teacher. I aim to spark the same kind of love for poetry in others. I believe this week-long institute has given me the tools to do just that!
–Louisa Levine, Campbell High School, North Hollywood, CA