Poetry Gumball Machine!

Poetry Gumball Machine!

A bookstore in Brooklyn has just announced the loveliest new instalment: a poetry gumball machine where all the proceeds go to Planned Parenthood. The bookstore in question is Books Are Magic, a gorgeous independent bookstore in Cobble Hill owned by Modern Lovers author Emma Straub. Their poetry gumball machine is characteristically creative; the poems themselves have been water-colored by hand, and can be bought for a quarter. If you’re lucky, you might even get one of the special coupons that have been sprinkled throughout the vending machine as well!

Books Are Magic have long been inspiring visitors to their store with their cute hand-drawn blackboard, on which they write lists such as “Fierce Women in Fiction” and “Fave Siblings in Literature.” It’s clear that everyone who works at the bookstore has a passion for words so strong it’s infectious — and this poetry gumball machine is sure to generate a whole new community of poetry-lovers in Brooklyn.

On Instagram, Books Are Magic posted a picture of their first customer’s poem, which was the sweet and quirky ‘This Is Just To Say’ by William Carlos Williams. If you’re anywhere near Brooklyn, you’re going to want to run over to Books Are Magic right this minute and see what surprise poem you end up with — while donating to Planned Parenthood at the same time!

Unique independent bookstores like Books Are Magic keep the magic of literature well and truly alive, and creative ideas like this show why these bookstores remain so beloved. I hope that Books Are Magic keep updating us so we can see some of the other poems pulled from their colorful gumball machine!
Books are Magic – Brooklyn bookstore

Follow them on Instagram (and see more pictures): booksaremagicbk

Article source:

Poetry: Various Forms


Source: http://www.tweetspeakpoetry.com/2017/01/23/form-poetry-horizons-prompt/


Form It is a prompt that focuses on exploring our topic through form poetry. This time, we’re going to “form” horizons.

Prompt Guidelines and Options

  1. Consider how you are feeling today, as you approach your topic. Are you sorrowful? Overflowing with joy or good humor? Maybe you’re in a snarky frame of mind. Or feeling perplexed. Perhaps you’re just in the mood to tell a story or express gratitude or awe. You could also consider the nature of the topic itself. Think on these things before you…
  2. Choose a form that either matches or purposely works against how you feel as you approach your topic, or that matches or purposely works against the nature of the topic itself. Options:

Acrostic (good for creating puzzles and mystery or dedications)

Ballad (excellent way to tell a story)

Catalog Poem (useful for building intensity, praise, or a sense of magic)

Ghazal (helpful for emphasizing “longing” or for exploring metaphysical questions)

Haiku (good for creating immediacy or focusing in on emotion)

Ode (excellent way to praise something or someone you love or admire)

Pantoum (useful for plumbing depressive or anxious themes)

Rondeau (helpful for giving form to extremes of either sadness or dark wit)

Sestina (good for exploring confusion, questions, worries, neuroses, fears in an oblique way)

Sonnet (excellent way to confine a bombastic theme or reign in a potentially sappy or overly-sentimental theme; also an excellent way to “work against” a topic humorously)

Villanelle (useful for themes that feel resistant to answers; also can be used to “work against” a topic, using mocking humor)*

  1. Be specific. Think nouns instead of adjectives.
  2. Consider doing a little research about the topic you are covering: its history, associated words, music, art, sculpture, architecture, fashion, science, and so on. Look for unusual details, so you can speak convincingly and intriguingly.


Leaning Tower of Pisa with Hughes Plath Heaney Frost Barrett Brown for Take Your Poet to Work Day

It’s Take Your Poet to Work Day!

It’s a great day to let Adrienne Rich take a few calls. Bring Rumi with you for some banter at the water cooler. Robert Frost would enjoy leading your staff meeting. And Emily Dickinson would be great at filing. We believe there is poetry in the workplace, and there’s definitely a place for poets at work. We have a great collection of poets for you to color, cut out and glue to a popsicle stick to join you on the job.

But over the past few years as we’ve celebrated Take Your Poet to Work Day, we’ve noticed a trend: many of our favorite poets just don’t want to go to work. Instead, like many of us often dream to do, they find their way to the beach, or to the coffee shop, or to the county fair instead.

So this year, we thought we’d get ahead of our poets and take them to some great destinations from around the world.

Lady Liberty with Adrienne Rich for Take Your Poet to Work Day
Adrienne Rich met Lady Liberty in New York City.
Hollywood with Sara Teasdale Pablo Neruda and Emily Dickinson for Take Your Poet to Work Day
I’d have never guessed that Emily Dickinson would ever say she was ready for her close-up, butPablo Neruda and Sara Teasdale talked her into a trip to Hollywood.
Statue of David with Wisława Szymborska and William Wordsworth for Take Your Poet to Work Day
Wisława Szymborska and William Wordsworth came up with a plan to make Michelangelo’s Statue of David safe for work.
Neptune with Walt Whitman for Take Your Poet to Work Day
Walt Whitman might not be the best tool for fighting sea serpents, but if you’re Neptune, I guess you can make do.
Emily Bronte in Copenhagen with mermaid
Emily Brontë and a mermaid shared a quiet moment in Copenhagen.
Ahkmatova Whitman Heaney Frost Angelou at Eiffel Tower
Anna Akhmatova,Maya Angelou, and  Robert Frost waited in line for Seamus Heaney and Walt Whitman to come down so they could have their turn on the Eiffel Tower.
Easter Island with Eliot Rumi and Angelou for Take Your Poet to Work Day
Maya AngelouT. S. Eliot, and Rumi enjoyed an afternoon of hide-n-seek at Easter Island.
Stonehenge with Rossetti Keats Eliot and Poe for Take Your Poet to Work Day
Eliot had so much fun at Easter Island he invited Edgar Allan Poe to Stonehenge. Poe brought along  John Keats and Christina Rossetti, who just wanted to read books all day.
Wright Longfellow Brown at Sydney Opera House
Judith Wright invited friends Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Elizabeth Barrett Browning over for an evening at the Sydney Opera House.
Matsuo Basho and Kobayashi Issa went to London to give Big Ben a hand.
Dickinson Angelou Yates and Poe on Mount Rushmore for Take Your Poet to Work Day
And wouldn’t you know it, Emily Dickinson, Maya Angelou, Edgar Allan Poe and William Butler Yeats came over to my home state and made an appearance at Mount Rushmore.

So where are you and your poet going today? Whether you’re going to work, to the beach, or on vacation, take along your favorite poet. Tweet a photo to us at @tspoetry with the hashtag#poettowork, and we might feature you.

Take Your Poet to Work Day Coloring Book CoverWe can’t wait to see where you go!

Click to get your free coloring book featuring our full collection of ready-for-work poets and everything else you need to celebrate Take Your Poet to Work Day 


Photos used under a Creative Commons license and sourced via Flickr; modified to include embedded poets. Mount Rushmore by CamellaTWU, Statue of Liberty by Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P., Neptune by Wally Gobetz, Statue of David by Darren & Brad, Leaning Tower of Pisa by Neil Howard, Easter Island by Babak Fakhamsadeh, Stonehenge by vgm8383, Big Ben by André Zehetbauer, Hollywood by Neil Kremer, Eiffel Tower by Gilad Rom, Sydney Opera House byMotiqua, Copenhagen by Greenland Travel.



I had my students make a “Poet on a Stick” last year–they loved the activity.  I think this year I will have them recite a poem of their choosing from the poet of their choice and/or have them create a play with the poets…still ruminating about the lesson plan…anyway…Enjoy the photos!



In just a few short days, crayons, popsicle sticks and poets will come together to celebrate the best day of the year in workplaces around the world.

Take Your Poet to Work Day is next Wednesday, July 20. (It’s always celebrated on the third Wednesday in July.) For the past few years, we’ve marveled at all the ways poets can help you out at work, from counting money in the cash register drawer to serving up espresso in the coffee shop. We’ve even seen a few poets in the board room, on the construction site, and, yes, on the beach. (Because poets take vacations too.)

We’re excited to release our free Take Your Poet to Work Day Coloring Book, updated with our fresh new crop of 2016 poets, including William Wordsworth, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Seamus Heaney, and Emily Brontë, Judith Wright, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

So get out your scissors and glue, and join us for a day of fun and celebration with poets in the workplace. And be sure to tweet us photos of your poets at work to @tspoetry on Twitter, with the hashtag #poettowork, and maybe we’ll feature you.

Take Your Poet to Work Day is Coming: Here’s Our 2016 Free Coloring Book!



The re-title classics are fantastic! –but may not be suitable for middle school.


High School for Technology and Communication

Ms. Greene    

English 12 Syllabus

Unit: Poetry

Student Task:
Read the following poems (also posted to your instagram, twitter, tumblr, snapchat, tinder, apple watch, hoverboard, wifi hotspot, $300 headphones, etc.). Tweet, snap, gram, or mind-beam your thoughtful, text-based responses to each piece.

Assigned Texts:

“8 Squad Goals You Should Get Rid Of RN” by Gwendolyn Brooks

“The Relatable Reasons Why I Literally Do Not Have Time For Death” by Emily Dickinson

“5 Ways To Complicate Your Decision-Making Process” by Robert Frost

“Dis Fruit Ain’t Loyal” by William Carlos Williams

“Confessions Of An Angst-Ridden Sailor Who Took Out His Emotions On The Wrong Bird”              by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

“13 Ways To Have No Chill When It Late At Night & You Lonely AF”  by Edgar Allan Poe

“This Tyger Is Way Too Turnt” by William Blake

“3 Foods You Never Knew You Could Compare To Your Dreams” by Langston Hughes

“You’ll Never Guess Why This Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou

“An Anthem For (deleted for inappropriate content for middle school)” by Andrew Marvell

“This Reason Why Money Can’t Buy You Happiness Will Destroy You” by Edwin Arlington Robinson

“Why You Should Turn Up On the Regular” by Dylan Thomas

“Can We Guess The Fate Of Your Life Based On How You Emotionally Respond To These Daffodils?” by William Wordsworth

“26 Lit Words You Didn’t Know You Needed In Your Life” by Lewis Carroll

English Teacher Re-Titles Classic Poems As Clickbait In Last-Ditch Effort To Trick Students Into Learning

Source: http://excusethebananas.com/english-teacher-re-titles-classic-poems-clickbait-last-ditch-effort-trick-students-learning/

Boston’s Sidewalks Are Covered In Secret Poems

You can only see them when it rains.


Clouds usually spell bad news for pedestrians. But for frequenters of some lucky Boston sidewalks, a shower uncovers a secret—a poem, stenciled in waterproof paint and revealed by the rain as if by magic.

“Raining Poetry,” a collaboration between City Hall and the nonprofit Mass Poetry, is slowly bringing secret art to the streets. Langston Hughes hides outside an unassuming cafe in Dudley Square. Local poet Barbara Helfgott Hyett whispers in Roslindale.


Members of the Mayor’s Mural Crew, a city-sponsored youth group that helps to create public art, have been installing the poems in batches since the first day of April. Photos from this weekend show two crew members spray painting their creations on dry sidewalks, and then testing them out via controlled splash.

Currently, there are poems hiding in various parts of the city—on busy Park Street, at a hopping Roslindale intersection, and outside the historic Strand theater in Uphams Corner, to name a few. Organizers plan keep adding more, and in more languages. “Our hope is in the next two years, everyone in the state will encounter a poem in their daily lives at least once or twice a month,” Sara Siegel, Mass Poetry’s program director, told the Globe.


So next time Boston rains all over your parade, make sure to look down. You might see a poem beaming back up at you.

Every day, we track down a fleeting wonder—something amazing that’s only happening right now. Have a tip for us? Tell us about it! Send your temporary miracles tocara@atlasobscura.com.



Take Your Poet to Work Day 2014

Source: http://www.tweetspeakpoetry.com/category/take-your-poet-to-work-day/


Today is Take Your Poet to Work Day! Join us and your favorite poets for all the smart fun in workplaces around the world.

We have great ways to help you celebrate, including our brand new freebie, the Take Your Poet to Work Coloring Book. Our free gift to you, you can download and print out the book, then color and cut out poets to your poetic little heart’s content. Take copies to work. Give them to your coworkers. Pass out poets to your customers. Print coloring pages and leave the on the tables in the cafeteria. Share this page on Facebook and Twitter and invite everyone you know to take their favorite poet to work. Free coloring book: http://www.tweetspeakpoetry.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Take-Your-Poet-to-Work-Coloring-Book.pdf


One of my favorite poets: Langston Hughes!


Langston Hughes—poet, novelist, and playwright—was born in Joplin, Missouri, in 1902. After his father left the family, he lived with a grandmother in Kansas while his mother sought work. Following his grandmother’s death, Hughes lived most of his adolescence with his mother and her husband in Lincoln, Illinois, where he began to write poetry. He wrote in his autobiography, Big Sea, “I was unhappy for a long time, and very lonesome, living with my grandmother. Then it was that books began to happen to me, and I began to believe in nothing but books and the wonderful world in books — where if people suffered, they suffered in beautiful language, not in monosyllables, as we did in Kansas.”

Hughes was a prominent figure in the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and one of the first to write poems in the newly formed “Jazz Poetry” style. He met strong resistance from black critics for his work, with complaints that he portrayed blacks in a negative light rather than highlighting their aspirations and potential. His work was popular among the black middle class, whose lives his work most often celebrated.

Before his death in 1967, Hughes published numerous collections of poetry and several novels and plays. He is known as the first black American to earn a living from writing and speaking.

I, Too, Sing America

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”

They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed–

I, too, am America.

Dream Deferred

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?

Or fester like a sore–
And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

source: http://www.tweetspeakpoetry.com/2014/06/04/take-poet-work-langston-hughes/