Making Curriculum Pop

Got wind of this very cool resource at NCTE. The Poetry Foundation here in Chicago was recently received a massive endowment that has allowed them to start innovating on a very large scale. In October they launched the Poetry Learning Lab...

From their press release:

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.”

Full release can be found at

I also contacted the foundation to get a copy of the flier for the lab, I've posted them as tiny JPEGS below and attached the doc as a full PDF below.

"Get thee to the laboratory" -

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