Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Regina Barreca's "Nighttime Fires"

One of the perks of anguishing over choosing a new textbook is the unexpected ways in which it comes to good use. For my World of Poetry class this past semester at Northeastern Illinois University, I picked Michael Meyer's Poetry: An Introduction. I had vetted it pretty well in advance of the class' start, and liked Meyer's blend of less "greatest hits" poems and poets, and more contemporary and unexpected choices, but it wasn't until the class got underway that I realized what a good choice it was. My students certainly seemed to like it, and from my own perspective I found it to be easily written and packed with far more interesting work than we could hope to examine in a mere semester.

I also discovered -- and in some instances, was given fresh perspectives on -- many poets and poems, and a few of those (re)discoveries affected my Hands on Stanzas lesson plans for the year. One in particular was the focus of my classes last week, Regina Barreca's "Nighttime Fires," a really incredible poem. I know very little about Barreca, but this certainly made an impression on me. (Students too.)

To read the poem, check out these posts regarding student work at Pilgrim and Solomon schools. Enjoy!

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