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Workshop Details
WorkshopWorkshopHAL: Poetry Writing and Performance
DepartmentDepartmentESU#3 Professional Learning
Default ContactDefault ContactKelly Nesbitt
Default LocationOff Site Locations

Presented by Matt Mason.

By engaging in a variety of unique and wonderful poetry writing exercises, students and their teachers will learn the basic elements of poetic craft, specifically, how to use metaphors, similes, imagery, alliteration, and repetition to create poems with texture and depth.

Breaking into small groups to share their original works, students and teachers will discover how guided questions and a specific vocabulary (“I notice” and “I wonder”) can help the writer not just “revise” his/her poem, but also re-envision it, enabling the writer to see his/her work in a new light.

Once the students and teachers have revised and polished their original poems, participants will, through an exercise that utilizes group performance, learn about the basics of performance and how to use the tools of voice, breath, pacing, and body language (choreography) to make our poems leap off the page and command the stage. These exercises will culminate in a final event where students will have the opportunity to recite/perform their original work, understanding that the goal of performance poetry is to couple the best possible text to the best possible performance.

Students will leave this workshop having learned how to compose superior poems and perform them with confidence.

Goals of the day include: demonstrate creative thought through original poetry, learn poetry writing techniques, and be part of a non-threatening collaborative creative process of expression.

Teachers are active participants and should be part of the day's events including supervision and participation.

Instructor Bio

Matt Mason is the Nebraska State Poet and has run poetry workshops in Botswana, Romania, Nepal, and Belarus for the U.S. State Department. His poetry has appeared in The New York Times and Matt has received a Pushcart Prize as well as fellowships from the Academy of American Poets and the Nebraska Arts Council. His work can be found in Rattle, Poet Lore, Prairie Schooner, and in hundreds of other publications. Mason's 5th book, Rock Stars, was published by Button Poetry in September of this year. Find more at:

Disclaimer: By participating in this event organized by ESU #3, you hereby grant permission to ESU #3 to use your image and likeness captured during the event for promotional and media purposes. This includes, but is not limited to, photographs, videos, and audio recordings. If you wish to withdraw your consent regarding the use of your media, please reach out to the primary contact of this event.


AudienceAudience: HAL Educators