Making Poetry Cool for School

I fell in love with a lot of poems when I was given the chance to look at them critically with my own eyes, perhaps even to disagree with the teacher or critics’ opinions, and to debate that point in class with my peers.

Oxford University Press has a new textbook for grade 10 English students, ‘Interface,’ by Oxford Next, which allows students the chance to do just thatβ€”on topics as diverse as Careers, Consumerism, Film and War. I’m thrilled that one of my poems, ‘Social Networking’ is featured in the Social Networking section of this modern, intelligent, and engaging textbook.

I got my copy of the texbook on Friday, and–I can’t really say it any other way–I completely flipped out when I saw that my poem is featured alongside poems by Michael Ondaatje and Margaret Atwood, an excerpt from an Amy Tan book, a Hamlet speech by Shakespeare, and part of Barack Obama’s inauguration speech.

I’ve looked over this textbook and am so impressed with how it engages the reader with its modern, web-page-like design; how it asks open-ended questions in the margins, and offers a choice of 3-5 creative projects to help students explore themes further. To have my work featured in a textbook of this quality just blows me away. I hope my poems will ignite young readers’ minds, and stir their souls, or at least give them a chuckle, for many more years.

Interface will soon have an “online interface,” so students can listen to poets read their works, use a personal e-notebook and self assessments, and much more. If you are a Canadian principal or teacher, please check out these incredible textbooks for 21st century students at Oxford Next My poem appears in Interface v2.2, Grade 10 English.

If you’re an educator and you’re interested in this series for your school, here’s a two minute digital video about the Interface series.

I’m a member of the League of Canadian Poets and participate in their ‘Poets in the Schools’ Program for Ontario elementary and high schools (I can visit any locale across Canada as part of Canada Poetry tours). I love reading my poems about computer technology /social networking/ cyber-bullying as part of my school workshops. Please contact the League to make arrangements.

13 responses to “Making Poetry Cool for School”

  1. Wow! How awesome to be included in a textbook for students! πŸ˜€ Seems like a real honour. Plus, textbooks smell Great πŸ˜€ Way to go πŸ™‚

    1. You know, it does smell great! It is an honour.

  2. As I said in my e-mail, very Well Done!!! I think between us, we have Oxbridge wrapped up πŸ˜‰

  3. Woot! Is there a Kindle version? I need to add to my Undeletables collection.

    1. Aw, thanks, but don’t think so–there’s an online counterpart with me reading the poem, but you only get it with a textbook (password in textbook). Next book, don’t worry about it!

  4. way to go Heather….impressive and it must feel good to be published in a text with other noteables…..

    1. It’s so cool. Thanks!

  5. This is great news! I am impressed but not surprised. πŸ™‚

  6. Hey, HGS ! Congrats.

  7. Ha! Thanks. Well-rounded? I can’t tell jokes, I can’t sing, I can’t cook, and I can’t rap. I even have a tshirt from some dear friends telling me so. “The girl can’t rap, but she sure can write.” But oh I love poetry so much!

  8. Yay!
    You are so well rounded.
    Love it.

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