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Four Poets on Teaching Writing

hampden sydney poetry reviewIn every issue, The Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review includes “4×4” – four of the issue’s contributors answering the same four questions. The winter 2015 issue (#41) features Lesley Wheeler, Linwood Rumney, Chris Dombrowski, and Marianne Boruch. The questions all focus on teaching poetry:

1) Can poetry be taught?
2) Is there any value to students having a foundation in traditional prosody (meter, rhyme, fixed form, what have you)? Or should free-verse be the starting place? Or something else?
3) What poets have been the most useful to you in your teaching endeavors and why?
4) [After a “summary of a boilerplate class”] Can you imagine a radical revision of the way we teach poetry in the creative writing classroom? What would it look like? No workshop? No teacher? What more, or better, could we do?

Great questions with thoughtful and thought-provoking answers – which you have to get the issue to read – but also some great conversation starters for the teachers among us. How would you answer these?

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