For Immediate Release

Poetry Foundation Launches Online Poetry Learning Lab

New educational, media-rich poetry experience for teachers and students
October 15th, 2009

CHICAGO — The Poetry Foundation invites teachers and students to tap into its new online resource, the Poetry Learning Lab. Hosted on, the Poetry Learning Lab is designed for anyone who wants to learn more about poetry.

A dynamic resource for teachers, students, and learners of every age, the Poetry Learning Lab has been developed by the Poetry Foundation in conjunction with a team of education experts—including writing and literature teachers, librarians, and poets—to provide an immersive educational experience with poetry. By allowing students to experiment with different ways of reading poems—as text, sound, and visual artifacts—the Learning Lab provides readers of all levels with the opportunity to practice close reading and listening skills and to think broadly and analytically about poetry and poetics.

An extension of the Poetry Foundation’s comprehensive website, which includes an archive of more than 600 poets and 8,000 poems, the Poetry Learning Lab’s multimedia educational resources include annotations, reading guides, audio and video recordings, discussion questions, writing ideas, teaching tips, and podcasts. The diverse learning approaches incorporated within the tools provide students and teachers with endless ways to approach poetry, and ensure that individual learning styles are met. These features are offered in connection with 10 selected poems:

  • Louise Bogan’s “A Tale”
  • Robert Browning’s “Fra Lippo Lippi”
  • Lucille Clifton’s “won’t you celebrate with me”
  • Emily Dickinson’s “I started Early- Took my Dog”
  • John Donne’s “The Sun Rising”
  • Gerard Manley Hopkins’s “The Windhover”
  • Yusef Komunyakaa’s “Facing It”
  • Sylvia Plath’s “Fever 103°”
  • Walt Whitman’s “A Passage to India”
  • William Carlos Williams’s “To a Poor Old Woman”

Also serving as a one-stop portal for reference materials, the Poetry Learning Lab is replete with engaging articles about poets and poetry, bibliographies, a thorough glossary of literary terms, and a large selection of poetics essays and manifestos ranging from Plato to today.

Catherine Halley, editor of, says, “The Poetry Learning Lab takes something Robert Frost once said as a point of departure: ‘Poetry begins in delight and ends in wisdom.’ The Lab encourages students to attend to individual poems with a focus that’s rare on the Internet—and at the same time provides teachers and instructors with a unique range of supplementary material useful in teaching poetry, from a glossary of poetic terms, to a series of historic poetics manifestos, to a variety of pedagogical essays.”

The positive response from students across the country to Poetry Out Loud, a partnership of the NEA and the Poetry Foundation that encourages high school students to learn about poetry through memorization and performance, suggests that readers of all levels are interested in the opportunity to enjoy poetry and learn more about their literary heritage. The Poetry Learning Lab builds on and fosters this interest in poetry by facilitating an interactive learning process that allows readers to discover for themselves the pleasures of engaging with difficult and precise language.

Teachers, students, and all users can also discover Harriet, the Poetry Foundation’s blog, where poetry teacher John S. O’Connor guest-blogs about the joys of teaching and studying poetry.

The Poetry Foundation will host a booth in the Exhibit Hall at the annual National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) convention in Philadelphia, November 19 to 22, 2009. Staff will be available to answer questions and provide more information. For more information on the conference, visit

For more information on the Poetry Foundation’s Poetry Learning Lab, please visit

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About the Poetry Foundation
The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine and one of the largest literary organizations in the world, exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative literary prizes and programs. For more information, please visit

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