Sarah Cohen

Sarah grew up on the East Coast, near Boston, and always wanted to be a writer. Some of her favorite childhood memories are of being in my basement with her best friend assigning each other topics to write poems about. She majored in English and creative writing in college, and then worked at The Atlantic Monthlymagazine before returning to school for an MFA in poetry. She has just finished a PhD in English at the University of Washington, Seattle, where she concentrated on twentieth‐century poetry. Her work experience has been divided between teaching and professional writing and editing, a set of experiences that has shaped her philosophy on the meaning and importance of publication.

“I strongly believe that writing is for everyone, and that publication is not necessary as a mark of being a “real” writer. At the same time, I also recognize how important it is for many writers not only to express but also to communicate—to be read by others. For all of us who fall somewhere between bestseller status and hiding our writing in a drawer, literary communities—including those created in workshops and classrooms—can be vital. As a writer in residence, my aim would be to participate in, and, I hope, to help to strengthen, such community.”

Residency Objectives:
Students will learn the sense of freedom and empowerment that comes with language. Students will also learn a comfort and lack of intimidation with poetry. By the end of the residency, students will have a basic knowledge of a variety of poetic effects, including line length, repetition, onomatopoeia, simile and metaphor, personification, and more. Students will become familiar with and have an understanding of a small number of “great poems” to be used as examples.

Staff and Community Offerings:
I could offer a session for teachers on creating poetry lesson plans or other guidance in finding teachable poems and presenting them in the classroom.

I’d be happy to offer any of the following:

• a works‐in‐progress workshop or one‐on‐one office hours for writers in the community
• a seminar or workshop for writers seeking publication (I have worked in book and magazine publishing)
• a book club or other literary discussion group

Facilities and Supplies:
A classroom.

Material Costs:
The only cost of this residency would be printing/photocopying of a small number of  worksheets and a final anthology of student work.

Connection to other Subjects:
Poetry builds students’ language and writing skills, a widely applicable academic activity. Poetry exercises could also be adapted as ways to present the content of other lessons (poems about science, history, etc).

  • CLIENT Grades: 2-7 / Adult
  • WE DID Poetry
  • PARTNERS Milton-Freewater / Shoreline, WA
  • TAGS