Poetry Alive! Why Teaching Living Poets to Children and Youth Matters

Rooms 443-444, Summit Building, Seattle Convention Center, Level 4
Friday, March 10, 2023
3:20 pm to 4:35 pm


Contemporary poetry is vibrant, exciting, inclusive, and relevant. But how do you go about including it in K–12 settings? How do you use it to prompt student writing? How do you deal with its often complex and mature themes? And why does teaching living poets matter? Writers teaching youth in diverse regions and contexts (including the founders of #teachlivingpoets and Seattle's own Frog Hollow School) speak about how they break past the expected canon and share contemporary poetry with youth.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: AWP_event_outline_2023.pdf
Supplemental Document 1: Poetry_Alive_handout.pdf



Becca Rose Hall founded and directs Frog Hollow School, a children's writing program in Seattle. She writes the Substack newsletter A Few Crooked Words to inspire kids' writing. She has been a resident at Arts OMI and Zvona i Nari. She won the 2019 Writer's Lighthouse Emerging Fiction Fellowship.

Melissa Alter Smith is the creator of the #TeachLivingPoets movement. She is coauthor of The Norton Guide to AP Literature and coauthor of Teach Living Poets. A National Board Certified high school English teacher and 2017 District Teacher of the Year, Smith's best work happens in the classroom.

Donna Vorreyer is the author of To Everything There Is (2020) and two other poetry collections from Sundress Publications, as well as eight chapbooks. She is an associate editor at Rhino Poetry and the host of the online reading series A Hundred Pitchers of Honey.

Joshua Gottlieb-Miller received his PhD and MFA in creative writing from the University of Houston. Joshua has been a Fellow at MacDowell as well as the Tent Writing Conference at the Yiddish Book Center. Now Joshua works the back desk at the Menil Collection, tutors writing, and teaches for Inprint at the JCC.

Outspoken Bean is Houston's fifth poet laureate.  He has spent countless hours mentoring Houston’s youth, performing his original poems, and implementing community outreach projects that help raise awareness around diversity.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center