May 2020: Virtual Poetry Project Presentation (PA days)

Script & poems for PD Day Lightening Talk on the Spring 2020 LCC Community-Generated Poetry Project

Hi everyone. We made it to the end of Spring semester 2020, the most bizarre, stressful, sad and, I would also say hopefully, inspiring semester of our lives. After Spring Break, we all had to dig deep to tap into our resilience and flexibility and then try to extend that to our students as well.  I would say I drew inspiration from how resilient and determined our students were especially when it came to my own project the LCC Community-Generated Poetry Project.  How that turned out is what I want to share with all of you today.

Many of you were involved in this semester’s Poetry Project by sharing prompts with your classes early in the semester (show sample prompt page/paragraph).  The prompts were connected to concepts surrounding the vote since 2020 is the 150th and 100th anniversaries of the 15th and 19th Amendments, respectively, as well as the first year many of our students are eligible to vote in a Presidential election.

After I had a short pity party for myself that this semester’s project would have to change dramatically, I adapted the process to work online.  Normally, the process of collaging the poems from all your students’ responses, which is the raw material, makes for a really amazing face to face day with my ENGL 201 Introduction to Poetry class as they work together to find interesting language and weave together poems from all the LCC student voices represented by the responses, your students.  This semester, in groups on discussion boards, the students read the different topic responses, wrote their lines and commented on each other’s work to suggest connections. Then, and this is the part that’s the greatest departure from the regular process, instead of the students, in real time, in their small groups, finalizing a poem from their lines, I took the lines and suggestions for connections and collaged the poems from that.  Then I shared the poems with the poets and they did the final revisions/edits together, again on the discussion board.  So…here are those poems with a reading assist from my new co-workers this semester, my two sons.


Link to 2020 Learning Together Professional Activity Days Lightening Talk Video:

LCC Community-Generated Poetry Project

Link to “Vote and Your Voice” post — poems/authors

Conclusion:  Those poems will be posted on my OpenLCC website for the Poetry Project ( along with the student poets’ names and more details on the process.  I definitely plan to continue with the focus of this project, The Vote and Your Voice, for Fall 2020 and will continue to work on adapting the process for our Fall online reality.  This semester, like all the ones before with the LCC Community-Generated Poetry Project, and in some ways even more so, served to again reiterate the truth of the 3 principles that I have determined drive the Poetry Project: Trust the Students, Trust the Process, Trust Each Other.


Description for the Lightening Talk:

A short introduction to and description of the Spring 2020 LCC Community-Generated Poetry Project “The Vote and Your Voice” and the ways I adapted it this semester. Includes readings (with help from my sons Josh and Caleb) of the three student-community-generated poems: “Voting Is…”, “”Vote or the Enemy Rises: Lines on the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment (Women’s Suffrage)”, and “the future is in our hands”. Please visit to see the poems with the student authors listed, as well as more details on this semester’s unique process.




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