Stanzas of America: Celebrating Bipoc Poetry

Course Overview:

We’ve partnered with GetLit to offer the Stanzas of America: Comparative BIPOC Poetry online course. This is a semester-long course that pairs Classic Poetry with spoken word response to engage, ignite, and embolden students around literacy and Ethnic Studies. 

This course is a rigorous deep dive into poetry that strengthens and elevates English Language Arts coursework and social emotional learning to act as a foundation for poetry, spoken word, and Ethnic Studies. This course is built on the foundation of pairing Classic Poetry and spoken word Response Writing and performance, challenging students to ask  “How do history and biography shape a poet’s work?,” “How can structure and story create an argument?,” and “How can we use literature to build empathy, empower student voices, and promote agency?” 

Stanzas of America uses project-based learning, problem solving, and 21st-century skills to develop students as great readers, writers, performers, and culturally responsive citizens. The course uses multi-genre and process writing, as well as speaking and listening skills, to help students synthesize and respond to work by different groups of poets: Black and African American poets, Latinx poets, Asian American and Pacific Islander poets, Indigenous/Native American poets, and Mixed Race/Biracial/Multiracial poets. This course also focuses on peer-to-peer learning with collaborative teaching, research, writing, critique, revision, publishing, and performance. 

Students will engage in close reading, hone their craft, and offer critical critiques of writing and performance craft, while looking at the impact of biographical context and historical and literary movements in areas such as gender, class, power, and more. In short, students will act as both authors and advocates. As researchers, performers, evaluators, and activists, students will be encouraged to examine the environment and rhetoric of the world around them. These observations will demand high-level responses through writing, academic dialogues, and courageous conversations where students share and showcase their identity and impact. 

This course uses multiple methods and intelligences to create a classroom community that fosters self- confidence, identity, interpersonal skills, empathy, cultural activism, and self-advocacy through the lens of literacy and public speaking.

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