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5 reasons to join the Poetry in America Intensive Programme

Published on July 22, 2022

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5 reasons to join the Poetry in America Intensive Programme

1. Learn how poetry intersects with other art forms like music, rap, dance, sports etc and how one can express their emotions through it.

Poetry is a means of self-expression which in today’s world has found several other channels such as rap, music, dance, sports and more as well. For me, it is dance and it serves as a form of therapy oftentimes not just self-expression. This is what poetry does as well. It is a beautiful art which is enhanced even more when found in the intersection with other forms of self-expression! This programme will streamline the expression of emotions, feelings and thoughts in your writing. 

Furthermore, the intersection between poetry and other forms of art like hip-hop, ballet, jazz and more will be prevalent as the Poetry in America Intensive Programme progresses. You will be learning with jazz pianist Herbie Hancock, poet Sonia Sanchez, and a group of students from Harlem, New York, in the study of Langston Hughes’s Harlem, studying alongside hip hop legend Nas and friends as they discuss Nas’s iconic song “N.Y. State of Mind”, joining basketball stars Shaquille O’Neal, Pau Gasol, and Shane Battier as they explore the love of the game through the lens of Edward Hirsch’s great basketball poem, “Fast Break.”

Moreover, you will get to witness actor Cynthia Nixon, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and poet Marie Howe as they explore Emily Dickinson’s “I cannot dance upon my toes,” a journey into what musical, theatrical, & literary performances all have in common and examine Robert Pinsky’s “Shirt” alongside young fashion designers, as well as fashion icons Stuart Weitzman, Johnson Hartig, and Betty Halbreich. 

I honestly did not know of a lot of these people but after searching up about them, I was in awe. You all will learn so much from these legends and will be grateful for the skills you will pick up, which are essential and will come in handy throughout your life. 

2. Learn under Professors from Harvard and Arizona State University.


Elisa New is the Director and Host of Poetry in America, the director of the Center for Public Humanities at Arizona. State University, director of Verse Video Education, and Powell M. Cabot Professor of American Literature at Harvard University. 

New created Poetry in America, a PBS series, to bring poetry into living rooms and onto screens of all kinds. Guests include Joe Biden, Herbie Hancock, Gloria Estefan, Shaquille O’Neal, Elena Kagan, & Nas. Along with the series, New produces educational materials on American poetry for all ages—from middle- and high-school students, to K-12 teachers, to lifelong learners—distributed by Harvard University, Amplify Education, and Arizona State University.


Ross Weissman is a poet, educator, and entrepreneur. His poetry and translations have appeared in Blue Lyra Review, Exchanges, Caliban Online, Pusteblume, and elsewhere.

As both a poet and educator, he values the diverse life experiences, contexts, and voices of each of his students. This has motivated his work in entrepreneurship too, having served as a founding team member of an environmental education summer camp in the Arctic Circle, a boutique leadership development firm in Vancouver, Canada, and a global ed-tech company in Boston, MA. He holds his master’s degree in education from Harvard, where he also served as a teaching fellow and researcher on a range of projects with humans and birds!

These professors are absolutely amazing at the work they do and their work has left me fascinated. They are going to positively impact everyone they mentor and interact with and hopefully, it includes everyone reading this blog as well!

3. Earn a transferable ASU College-level credit while in High School.

College credits are used as a metric to award students academically in return for the effort they put in their coursework, along with the number of hours dedicated to finishing a particular course. Poetry in America Intensive is the first program for high schoolers in India that confers you one ASU credit which can be transferred to a college or university of your choice!

4. Learn the art of poetry amongst other budding poets in the country.

You will not be alone in this programme in regard to your passion for poetry. You will be learning and flourishing in the presence of other budding and talented poets from across the country as well! You will get a chance to enhance vocabulary, sentence formation, syntax, and creativity. Moreover, you will learn the essential skills that will help you incorporate Argumentative and Expository rhetoric within your writing. Interacting with a diverse group of students will allow you to explore different perspectives and opinions as well! 

Viewing issues and topics from other perspectives is so important when you are developing your argumentative skills and working along with others is bound to teach you essential skills like teamwork, collaboration, negotiation and more. 

5. Create your own poem or another art form focused on a social issue

The final day will comprise of collaboration with fellow students and aspiring poets in order to develop a poem or absolutely any other work of art that addresses a social issue. You will be harnessing all your creative powers to inspire change. 

From the content I have been exposed to, I believe that literature and art are extremely powerful ways of bringing about change and inspiring the youth.

This brings me to what Alice Osborn, a renowned poet, singer-songwriter, educator, and book editor, has said about poetry- “Poetry is so important because it helps us understand and appreciate the world around us. Poetry’s strength lies in its ability to shed a “sideways” light on the world, so the truth sneaks up on you. No question about it. Poetry teaches us how to live. Poetry is like the Windex on a grubby car window—it bares open the vulnerabilities of human beings so we can all relate to each other a little better.” 

I instantly connect with this even as an economics major! It has been put absolutely beautifully and brings out the essence of the goal of the Poetry in America Intensive Programme that will make you feel a multitude of emotions, express yours, and drive change. 

P.S. This programme is happening in India for the first time ever and had I still been in high school, I would be the first to apply and so should you!!

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