Poetry for Life. Start Here.

*Update: 180 students received How to Read a Poem as a graduation gift. Thank you for your part in giving #poetryforlife

Yesterday, one of our dear readers said this in a comment box, about How to Read a Poem:

I wish I had deep, deep pockets. I’d gift Tania Runyan’s book to each Senior in my daughter’s class—with a note expressing my desire for them to uncover and discover the poetry in their lives as they make their way out into the world.
—Elizabeth Marshall

We took the comment to heart and set about making a dream come true. It’s the kind of dream that was born in a small place but could have far-reaching, long-term impact. If you have read our interview with Patty Paine, and if you think about the effects of poetry in your own life, you know that poetry can be, quite literally, a life-saver.

Poetry, the reading and the writing of it, has saved my life.
—Patty Paine

Here’s how it will work…

T. S. Poetry Press will make it possible for Elizabeth to personally give How to Read a Poem to the senior class of 174 students—if we can raise the money to cover the basic book cost and expedited shipping.*

Graduation is only a week away. That’s so little time. But the positive effects could be for life.

Help give just one senior class poetry for life today…

$50 level
$100 level
$150 level

P.S. Thank you so much for bringing poetry to a new generation. We can’t wait to share their stories with you, as we hear what happens!

Photo by Nagesh Jayaraman, Creative Commons, via Flickr. *Any books not distributed to the senior class will be donated to other students and teachers.


  1. says

    A lovely gift for them as they start out on their journeys. It’d be fun if some will share their thoughts on the book down the road a piece. 😉

  2. says

    Thank you all for your support and enthusiasm for this. It is making an already emotional mother of a graduate even more emotional. This is my last child and only daughter to leave the nest.

    She encouraged me to begin my blog and she said momma you can put all your poetry on it. She has wept at my poems, shared my poetry with friends and been such an amazing friend to me along my poetry journey.

    We may have another Maya Angelou or we may have another middle aged momma poet in this graduating class of 2014. Perhaps a young Billy Collins or Tania Runyan or L.L. Barkat will cross the stage for their diploma next week.

    And maybe they will have the opportunity to befriend poetry. To invite it to go, explore, walk and wonder into a beautiful and complicated world.

    Embrace it as a language for archiving, processing, defining and embracing fragments of their lives.

    Perhaps they will allow poetry to be a lens through which they see their world.

    Thank you for your help in sending the Class of 2014 at WHS out into the world with poetry.


  3. says

    A poem, which naturally happens, elevates the mind and mood besides keeping one refreshed for a longer time. In that poetic moment, howsoever brief, one feels nearer the highest spirit.

    in silence
    one with divine will
    growing within


    • says

      Katie, we are so appreciative of your gift. This class of seniors, I hope, will look back with just a little wonder… that a national community took part in bringing them a dream.


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