Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Resource books: DR. ALPHABET

I’m always looking for new ideas for breaking down negative attitudes or apathy toward poetry. Sometimes helping people CREATE spontaneous poetry is just the ticket. I’m especially a fan of “found” poetry-- creating poems (or poem drafts) from unlikely sources like newspaper articles, billboards, and other “environmental” print. One of my favorite resources for this approach is Dave Morice’s book, THE ADVENTURES OF DR. ALPHABET; 104 UNUSUAL WAYS TO WRITE POETRY IN THE CLASSROOM AND THE COMMUNITY. Much of his work has actually been in bringing poetry to senior citizen centers—with amazing results. But his creative ideas work with people of all ages. One warning however: his approach is often unorthodox; for example, he encourages people to write poems on physical surfaces like mirrors or chopsticks! His fresh, often off-the-wall perspective encourages us to be playful with language, to experiment with fresh phrasing, to look for poems in unlikely places. Here is just a sampling of the 104 poem-making activities you’ll find in this book:
• Alphabet music code poem
• Autumn leaf poems
• One-rhyme poem
• Poetry checkers
• Poetry mazes
• Poetry poker
• Postage stamp poems
• Rolodex poems
• Thumb book poem
• Tiny book quatrains
• Train of thought poem
• Trictionary poem
• Wonderverse
• And many more

Morice, D. 1996. THE ADVENTURES OF DR. ALPHABET. New York: Teachers and Writers Collaborative.

And if you like DR. ALPHABET, look for Dave Morice’s POETRY COMICS: AN ANIMATED ANTHOLOGY, a kind of graphic novel approach to classic poems.

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