Writing from the Heart

Spring into Poetry: A Writing Poetry for Children Workshop

Poets House

Spring into Poetry: Writing the World with Poet’s Eyes
A Writing Poetry for Children Workshop

with Georgia Heard and Rebecca Kai Dotlich
Special Guests: Janet Wong, poet, and Elizabeth Harding, literary agent

May 4 – 5, 2019
Poets House, NYC
This event made possible through Poets House’s Literary Partners Program

“Poetry has always been a way of paying attention to the world.” –Naomi Shihab Nye

Join poets Georgia Heard and Rebecca Kai Dotlich for a two-day writing poetry for children workshop. Children’s poetry can be playful and light-hearted, and strives to create a sense of wonder and joy by looking at the world in a unique way. In this small, interactive workshop Georgia and Rebecca will give you the tools and skills you need to write imaginative and joyful poetry for children.

About the Workshop:
In this small and interactive workshop we’ll help you navigate the tools and skills you need to write children’s poetry by way of craft talks, writing prompts, and looking at a variety of poems written for children. Each day you’ll spend time writing new poems, and will be given tools and tips for seeing your poems with fresh eyes. This workshop will give you a blueprint for writing poems using images, observation, word choice and imagination to fine-tune your work. You will all be invited to read your work to our group and receive impromptu feedback from Georgia and Rebecca.

This workshop is perfect for both beginner and more advanced poets and even those who are curious and eager to learn how to get started in writing poetry for the young. Teachers who might want to introduce and write more poetry with your students will gain insights on where to begin.

Children's Room
Poets House
Poets House Interior

About Poets House:
Poets House is an extraordinary space for those who love poetry. It houses a 70,000-volume poetry library with incomparable views of the Hudson River. The Constance Laibe Hays Children’s Room is home to their collection of children’s books and is an inspiring space where young guests can compose poetry on old-fashioned typewriters or explore the card catalog filled with inspiring poem prompts. As part of the workshop, you will take a private tour of Poets House.

About Your Workshop Leaders:

Georgia HeardGeorgia Heard received her M.F.A. in Poetry from Columbia University. She is one of the founders of the Reading and Writing Project at Teachers College, Columbia University where she was an adjunct professor, and a staff developer in NYC schools. She has published 18 books on poetry and writing, several children’s poetry books and anthologies, and her poems have been widely anthologized in magazines and books.  She has also served on the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children and The Pennsylvania Center for the Book Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award committee. She gives workshops and keynotes at conferences in the U.S. and around the world. She is the editor of The Woman in This PoemWomen’s Voices in Poetry (Plum Leaf Press, Rubicon) and her newest children’s book is Boom! Bellow! Bleat!: Animal Poems for Two Or More Voices. She lives in South Florida.


Twitter: @Georgiaheard1

Rebecca Kai Rebecca Kai Dotlich is a poet and picture book author who studied creative writing and art history at Indiana University. Her poetry has been featured on Reading Rainbow, and her books have received such honors as The Gold Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Award, The Golden Kite Honor Award, the AAAS Suburu SB&F Prize honor finalist, 10 Best Books for Babies, and Bank Street’s Book of the Year. Her work appears in dozens of anthologies, magazine and textbooks. She has been a contributing columnist and poetry advisor to Creative Classroom magazine, and has served on the International Reading Association’s Committee on Poetry & Prose Awards, the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children, and The Pennsylvania Center for the Book Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award committee. She gives poetry workshops, visits classrooms across the country, and speaks at conferences and retreats. She lives in the Midwest.


Twitter: @Rebecckai

Janet WongJanet Wong is a graduate of Yale Law School and a former lawyer who switched careers to become a children’s author. Her dramatic career change has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN’s Paula Zahn Show, and Radical Sabbatical. She is the author of more than 30 books for children and teens on a wide variety of subjects, including writing and revision (You Have to Write), diversity and community (Apple Pie 4th of July), peer pressure (Me and Rolly Maloo), chess (Alex and the Wednesday Chess Club), and yoga (Twist: Yoga Poems). A frequent featured speaker at literacy conferences, Wong has served as a member of several national committees, including the NCTE Poetry Committee and the ILA Notable Books for a Global Society committee. Her current focus is encouraging children to publish their own writing using affordable new technologies. 


Sarah HardingElizabeth Harding represents authors and illustrators of picture books, middle-grade and young adult fiction. She started at the agency almost 20 years ago as an assistant to the legendary Marilyn E. Marlow. Elizabeth’s list includes New York Times bestsellers, Newbery, National Book Award, Printz, and Coretta Scott King honor and award winners. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan (Go Blue!), a devoted and hopeful fan of her hometown Cleveland teams and lives in Manhattan with her husband and four sons.


Registration: $799, includes tuition, materials, morning coffee, and light lunch each day

The retreat size is limited to 18 participants maximum and registration is on a first-come-first-served basis dependent on the order your deposit is received. (We need a minimum number of 12 participants for the workshop to run).

Both Rebecca and Georgia will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the workshop.
Georgia can be reached at: Heard_Georgia@yahoo.com
Rebecca can be reached at: rebeccakai@aol.com

Please use the form below to register online or download the pdf version.

Registration: Part One – Registration Form

Contact Info

Please email Georgia Heard at Heard_Georgia@yahoo.com (Note: There is an underscore between Heard and Georgia)

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