Mass Poetry's Professional Development program is led by engaging poet-instructors and focused on the teaching of poetic craft and technique, providing skills for educators to invigorate their classrooms. While the sessions are geared toward high school teachers working with the Common Core Curriculum, anyone who seeks to strengthen their knowledge and skills in creative writing poetry instruction are welcome to attend. Teachers earn PDPs, while others earn Certificates of Completion.
Join Mass Poetry for our 2018 Professional Development Summer Seminar, led by Ben Berman.
When: Tuesday, August 14 and Wednesday, August 15
10:00 am - 4:30 pm
Where: Suffolk University, Poetry Center (in the Mildred Sawyer Library) 73 Tremont Street, Boston
Ben Berman’s first book, Strange Borderlands, (Able Muse Press, 2013) won the Peace Corps Award for Best Book of Poetry, was a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Awards and received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. His second collection, Figuring in the Figure, (Able Muse Press, 2017) is written entirely in terza rima and explores much more domestic concerns – in particular the transformative and perplexing experiences of fatherhood.
In addition to writing, Ben has also taught High School English for the past 20 years. He began his teaching career as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zimbabwe, then spent the next eight years teaching in the Boston schools before moving to Brookline High School, where he currently teaches Creative Writing and helps run their Capstone program.
A Look Back...
2017 summer seminar
2016 Summer Seminar
Held at Suffolk University's Poetry Center August 2 - 4, 2016.
See what 2015 participants have said about the Professional Development Course:
"What a great experience! Regie was generous with his creative teaching toolbox and I loved the pace he set--five hours felt like two! I got to take home not only ideas for instruction but ones to use in my own practice. Regie truly reminded me what it means to be a working creative. Plus, well-organized, great office and kudos to Laurin for being so kind and welcoming. I would definitely attend another PD session with Mass Poetry."
"The workshop was compact--not moment was wasted. Also an incredible value for quality of instruction. And thirdly, it helps to meet other like-minded poets/teachers and share techniques and experiences."
"I thought it was fabulous. Regie dwells in creativity and lets it thrive in his teaching. What a positive energy, constructive and specific guidance, and overall intelligent imagination he offers. The space is unique and feels fresh and comfortable. I am excited to use his techniques and insights in teaching youth."
"I really liked the small group setting. It was very engaging and I felt comfortable sharing and asking questions. Regie Gibson was great--such a command of the English language! I felt like I could've just sat and listened to him talk all day. I also really liked that we tried out the writing activities so that we could actually get a feel for how they would work in a classroom."
A look back at our 2014 Summer Seminar:
Our 2014 Professional Development Summer Seminar held at UMass Boston, led by Jill McDonough and Maggie Dietz, was a 15-hour, two-day event focused on the teaching of poetry writing for middle and high school students. It included workshops on using meter in the classroom, inspiring students to write from the point of view of objects and/or other people, teaching the importance of line breaks, and writing from history using primary sources as inspiration. 25 teachers were in attendance.
Teacher Feedback from our 2014 Professional Development Summer Seminar:
"The teachers were wonderful and thoroughly knowledgeable in their subject, talented in their craft, and encouraging in their teaching. The exercises they introduced were do-able and aligned with many aspects of the Common Core."
"Expecting us to write and share our poems publicly was a great experience: it put us in the position of our own students and got us to see ourselves as poets."
"The seminar was wonderful. It was great to have two different poet/teachers with two different styles. I loved the "modeling" and the time to write."
"I loved it all: the pacing was good, the free writing time was great, I appreciated learning some of the finer points of poetry (aka meters!). Maggie and Jill were very engaging."
"LOVED the facilitators, time to write and revise, and free time for discussion. I wouldn't change anything. Best two-day PD in a while!"
"I enjoyed it so much and came away with new exciting ideas in thinking about writing and teaching about writing poetry!"
"I very much enjoyed the openness, warmth and sense of community of all those in attendance. I enjoyed meeting the people there who have similar interests in poetry and in teaching about it and in pondering with them, writing with them and laughing with them. I think this sense of good connection with a group of strangers was well fostered by the instructors."
"Both Maggie and Jill offer impressive styles and approaches to teaching students about poetry. They pushed us and inspired us and gave us new things to think about in our roles as teachers and enthusiasts of poetry."
Become a Sponsor
Become a sponsor today or email Sara Siegel at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Payments can be made via PayPal (to email@example.com) or via check (made out to Mass Poetry, mailed to 15 Channel Center Street, Suite 103, Boston MA 02210).
To support the teachers who will learn from this experience, Mass Poetry encourages gifts at the following levels:
• Supporter: $250
• Friend: $500
• Sponsor: $1,500