Understanding, Appreciating, and Creating Poetry

Adam Boaz, English Faculty and Grade Dean Grade 11, teaches a senior elective "Understanding, Appreciating, and Creating Poetry." The work culminates each year in a live poetry reading. The students and Mr. Boaz invite you to watch the video they produced this year of their poetry reading.

Sydney Fishkin ’21 describes making poetry as "freeing." "It allows you to express yourself without directly telling people what you are really talking about," she adds. Her classmate, Ian Marsh ’21, agrees. "It was a way to be open about myself in a way I never thought I could." 

Describing his enthusiasm for partnering with the students, Mr. Boaz shares, "Teaching poetry has been one of the great joys of my King experience. There truly is a poem inside each of us! Our students are wildly creative — and some of them have not yet realized it! It is thrilling to read and discuss the works of contemporary poets with them, watch them learn the craft and techniques that professional poets use, and then apply what they have learned to their own creative process.

The students keep their own creative pieces in a journal, and at the end of the semester they have their own body of work.  Mr. Boaz emphasizes that "to appreciate and create poetry, students simply need to give themselves permission to let their inner voices and feelings see the light of day. They do it, at first because I ask them to, and later because it is empowering to create and share. It can be both frightening and exhilarating to read in front of others, and I applaud my students for the poise and generosity with which they share."

Learn more about the King Upper School and the skills-based approach to teaching reading, writing, thinking, and speaking