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!
My Poems in Anthologies, Magazines, etc.
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.
- Heart of Earth (choral composition adapted from my poems, created by Shruthi Rajasekar)
- Brinicle (Book of Nature Poetry)
- Sailing Stone (Book of Nature Poetry)
- We’re Bats (One Minute Till Bedtime)
- Spaghetti (Lullaby and Kisses Sweet)
- Why Aren’t All Books Happy? (Utah Journal of Literacy)
- The Acrobat (at The Christian Science Monitor)
- Blush (at PoetryMinute.org)
- Book Plate (at PoetryMinute.org)
- Petting Zoo (Poetry Friday Anthology)
- Fierce (villanelle merit award in Franklin-Cristoph contest)
- Unwrapped (on YourDailyPoem.com)
- Dear Ocean (on YourDailyPoem.com)
- Rachel Carson: Reborn at Sea (triolet in Cricket Magazine)
- Just Like That (Dare to Dream…Change the World anthology)
- We Are Woven (Gift Tag poetry e‑thology)
- After the Storm (Poetry Tag e‑thology)
- Acrocanthosaurus (Dizzy Dinosaurs I Can Read Book)
- Golden Possibilities (KNOW Magazine)
- Get Smart With the Periodic Table (KNOW Magazine)
- Fiesta (ALA Book Links)
My National Poetry Month Collections
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.
- 2012: Haiku
- 2014: Riddle-ku (riddle haiku)
- 2015: Poetry Tips for Teachers (on reading poetry aloud)
- 2016: The Putrid Poetic Ponderings of Louis J. Pasternak (a chapter book, one chapter at a time)
- 2017: Wonderbreak poems (celebrating small wonders)
- 2018: Daily haiku
- 2020: Daily poem
- 2021: Equation poems
- 2022: Sticky note poems
- 2023: Digging for Poems (combining magnetic poetry and words from random board game cards)
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.
Being a Poet
Poetry for Publication
Poetry in the Classroom
Poetry Ideas for the 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.
Try the N+7 exercise!
Oppositify a poem!
My biggest hopes for We Belong are that it gets used to spark good discussions and to create community. So I’ve created a template for you to use with your students to write a classroom or family poem.
Why not write an equation poem for someone you love for Valentine’s Day? These snappy poems are short enough to fit on a handmade card!
Have students read Lion of the Sky and wrote their own zoo-ku in response.
Using images and empathy to spark meaningful poems.
One thing I love about this form is that even the youngest poets can contribute.
Writing group poems is a way to build community and improve writing skills.
Here’s my lesson plan from a young authors conference. Make sure to check out the several posts after it for more examples of student poems!
Combine a random object and a random emotion to help students explore language nuances.
A young authors conference lesson plan focusing on getting rid of filler and fluff in poems.
A young authors conference lesson based on a trip to Scotland.
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.
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.