*Now Accepting Applications for our annual Summer Poetry Institute for Educators, July 14-18, 2014!

Revitalizing Poetry in the Classroom
One of the Favorite Poem Project's significant goals is to enhance and improve the teaching of poetry in the nation's elementary, middle and high school classrooms. The study of poetry, Robert Pinsky believes, is crucial in the modern world.

"Poetry connects us with our deep roots," says Pinsky, "our evolution as an animal that created rhythmic language as a means of transmitting vital information across the generations. We need to communicate not only with our peers but our ancestors and descendants, and the arts of poetry, writing, print, digital media serve that communication. As the oldest of those arts, poetry in a deep-going way calls upon the very nature of human society, our interdependence upon one another not only in space but in time. We need the comfort and stimulation that this vital part of us gets from the ancient art."

Summer Poetry Institutes

Call for Applications

The poetry institute was a reaffirmation of why I love poetry as well as a reminder of why I became a teacher. I aim to spark the same kind of love for poetry in others. I believe this week-long institute has given me the tools to do just that! Thank you!—Tamara Dalton, Needham High School, Needham, MA

The Favorite Poem Project, in cooperation with the Boston University School of Education, is accepting applications for the eleventh annual Poetry Institute for Educators at Boston University, July 14-18, 2014. We invite teachers and teacher/administrator teams across grade levels—elementary, middle and high school—to apply. The Institute seeks a range of participants: new and experienced teachers, those who enjoy teaching poetry and those who've shied away from it.

For an application or for more information, please email Professor Lee Indrisano. (Admissions are rolling. The final deadline for electronic and mail submissions is July 5, 2014.)

FPP Materials

The level of excitement generated by bringing the Favorite Poem Project to my classroom is astounding.—Virginia Dent, Lansing High School, Lansing, NY

The Favorite Poem Project videos provoke interest and conversation among students and are wonderfully helpful as an introduction to poetry.—Frannie Moyer, Newton South High School, Newton, MA

The Summer Poetry Institute, led by Robert Pinsky, builds on the principles of the Favorite Poem Project. Participating teachers receive teaching materials, including a DVD featuring project participants from across the country each reading aloud and speaking about a poem they love. Many of the lesson plans developed by Institute participants are made available to a national audience of teachers through this Web site.

A Unique Opportunity

Poetry discussions led by "real" poets added depth and a scholarly aspect to the institute that is often lacking in teacher workshops. I find the teacher-as-learner aspect very rejuvenating.—Merri Jones, Frank Sokolowski School, Chelsea, MA

The graduate-course-like discussions were engaging and exciting.—Lauren Marganiello, Wilmington High School, Wilmington, MA

The Institute offers participating teachers a remarkable week-long opportunity: to study and discuss poetry with renowned practitioners of the art, five award-winning American poets. Past faculty include poets Mark Doty, David Ferry, Louise Glück, Gail Mazur, Heather McHugh and Rosanna Warren. Each faculty member meets with teachers to look closely at excellent poems in a seminar/discussion setting. Each day of the Institute wraps up with a poetry reading given by faculty.

In addition, participating teachers work in groups throughout the week with leaders from Boston University's School of Education. Based on the Institute seminars, and incorporating their own skills and ideas, the teacher-groups develop innovative and energizing lesson plans with the aim of invigorating the teaching of poetry in their schools and classrooms. The Institute encourages dialogue among teachers about past successes, difficulties and insights they've had in bringing poetry to students in their various communities, seeking to build on participating teachers' experiences.

At the end of the week, teachers present lesson plans they've created, and take part in a "Favorite Poem" reading event, sharing a favorite poem along with a brief reflection. We encourage participating educators to organize similar Favorite Poem reading events in their classrooms, schools or broader communities during the academic year.

The Favorite Poem Project has caused us, as a department, to rethink our teaching of poetry, connecting it directly to the kids.—Ronna Frick, Department Head, Wellesley High School, Wellesley, MA

The collaboration at the summer institute produced a number of excellent lesson plans. One particularly successful lesson involved creating anthologies and sharing favorite poems. All fifty-eight of my juniors completed this project—unheard of, and fantastic! The at-risk students, the low-functioning, the highly-skilled, the creative, the disenchanted, the normally unmotivated, ALL presented their favorite poems for this project and were delighted to discuss the choices they had made. It was, quite simply, empowering. Rest assured that the "buzz" has started here at Watertown high school.—Monica Hiller, Watertown High School, Watertown, MA


The $275 fee for the Summer Poetry Institute includes materials and continental breakfast daily. On the first day of the institute, teachers receive a canvas tote containing:
  • A binder filled with information, along with copies of the poems to be presented by the poet-faculty during the week.
  • Poems to Read: A New Favorite Poem Project Anthology, edited by Robert Pinsky and Maggie Dietz (W.W. Norton & Co., 2002).
  • An Invitation to Poetry: A New Favorite Poem Project Anthology, including a comprehensive classroom guide, edited by Robert Pinsky and Maggie Dietz (W.W. Norton & Co., 2004).
  • A DVD featuring Favorite Poem Project videos.
  • The Sounds of Poetry: A Brief Guide by Robert Pinsky (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1998)
Following the Institute, participants receive: " A complete, edited set of lessons developed by teacher-groups at the Institute. " A "Teachers' Favorite Poems" anthology compiled from entries collected at the Institute.

Institute participants will be awarded 30 Professional Development Points.


Overnight accommodation for the week (Sunday through Thursday nights) is available on a first come first served basis at Boston University's new student village (10 Buick Street, Boston, MA), walking distance from the Institute.

The apartment-style residence features four-bedroom suites. All bedrooms are single occupancy. Each suite has two full bathrooms. Bed and bath linens are provided.

Room rates are $62 per person per night for guests of Boston University (a total of $310 for five nights). We will do our best to accommodate suite-mate requests.


Garage parking is available for commuters at a rate of $8 per day. Overnight parking is available, price to be determined.


The Summer Poetry Institute takes place at Boston University's School of Education, Silber Way, Boston, MA. Institute participants will have access to a special poetry reading library as well as a computer lab.

Summer Institutes | School Events | Lesson Plans | Poetry Across Disciplines