I write poetry because I’m passionate about the world and about words. Poetry is my favorite way to express my wonder and awe and connect with other people.

Maybe you’ve already found my poetry collections and rhyming picture books in the Books section. Hooray! But guess what?

My poems have also appeared in choral compositions, anthologies, student assessments, magazines, newspapers, and more. Plus I’ve shared hundreds of poem drafts on my blog and online. That can be a little overwhelming to wade through :>) On this page, I’ve organized some of my poems by form, topic, etc., along with info and links for poets and teachers. Please explore and enjoy!

A Poetry Sampler

Here are 10 poems, just to give you a sampling of my poetry style. Click on any poem in the row below and then proceed through the gallery.

My poems have appeared in many anthologies, magazines, choral compositions,

and more. Here are links to some of the poems, when I’m able to share them.

In the U.S., April is National Poetry Month. Most years, I participate by writing and sharing a poem per day. Here are some past poetry projects. You might find these collections to be useful mentor texts for writing a particular form, or a fun monthlong reading journey, or a template for your own National Poetry Month writing adventures.

Sometimes, people have questions about how to start writing poetry. Starting is a little scary—like jumping off a cliff. You close your eyes, hold your breath, and leap. Then you take the words that have splashed out and move them around until they sparkle in the best possible design. You have to take risks and try new things and let your writing gallop in unexpected directions.

Writing poetry is such an individual thing. I don’t think anyone can say, “Here’s the right way to write a poem.” But good poems have certain things in common: metaphor, unusual or surprising language, fun form on the page, etc. It’s been a minute since I wrote the articles below, but the thoughts still hold true for me. Click on the links to read about various poetic forms, topics, and habits that I’ve loved.

Poetic Techniques

Vivid Verbs: To Be Is To Be Boring

Line Breaks: How Do You Decide?

Scanning Your Poems: Where Does Your Rhythm Go Wrong?

Assonance and Alliteration: Can You Repeat That?

Metaphor: The Skeleton of a Poem

Titles for Poems: How To Make a Reader Keep Reading

Poetic Forms

Which Poetic Form Should I Use?

Who Said That? Poems for 2 Voices

The Mask Poem: Writing from an Object’s Point of View

Acrostics: Poetry, Top to Bottom

Found Poems: More Than Just Finding

Diamantes: A Gem of a Form

Do You Haiku?

Being a Poet

Poetry Goals

Poetic Habit: Reading 5 a Day

Poetic Habit: A Poetry Diary

Poetry How-to Books

How To Steal Ideas for Poems

What a Great Idea for a Poem

Poetry for Publication

What Makes a Children’s Poem?

How to Gather Poems for a Poetry Collection

Poetry in the Classroom

Reading Poetry in the Primary Classroom

Hi, teachers! I often share my writing and teaching processes on my blog. Here are some posts that contain samples or enough detail that they might inspire you. I hope you find something fun here to try with your students.

If you’re looking for fun poems to share with your students, interesting teaching ideas, or a way to connect with a lovely poetry community, join in on Poetry Friday! Everyone is always welcome, and you don’t have to have a blog to participate. Authors, teachers, poets, librarians, readers–we all connect over poetry. You can find the details here.

I love writing poems, and I write lots of free verse and rhyming poems. I also adore playing with poetic forms, from acrostics to zenos. When I discover a form I like, I might return to it again and again. Here are a few forms I find myself drawn to. Maybe you’d like to give them a try? Most of them are great for using in the classroom!

15 Words or Less

This is a great writing warm-up exercise that I hosted on my blog for many years. Show an image, brainstorm three things it makes you think of, and quickly jot a poem draft of 15 or fewer words (not counting the title). Find full directions here and a boatload of my weekly posts with images and drafts here.

Equation Poems

An equation poem is an equation using words instead of numbers. It still describes a transformation–how things affect each other. My book Snowman-Cold=Puddle highlights spring transformations. Equation poems are easy to learn and difficult to master :>D Give some a try! You can find more equation poems here.


When I write a poem inspired by or written in response to a book, I call it a poetryaction (a poetry reaction). What a fun way to connect your reading and your writing and your thinking! Here are a few examples, and you can find my blog posts with poetryactions here.


I created riddle-ku in 2014 for National Poetry Month. Each one is a combination of a mask poem, a riddle, and a haiku. I wrote one daily for NPM that year, and I later wrote a picture book collection called Lion of the Sky: Haiku for All Seasons. These are a blast to create!

Things To Do If You Are…

This form basically creates a to-do list for an inanimate object. It makes you think in metaphors and is a combination of things that are true about a topic and figurative language. I love writing these with students, and this form led to my book, If You Were the Moon. Find directions here and more examples here.

[______] Is a Word

In this form, created by poet Nikki Grimes, you explore a word from many angles–the meaning, of course, but also the word itself as an object. You can find a few more examples here and see how I explored this form with students at a Young Authors Conference here.

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