The International Poetry Guild (IPG) is a web-based language-arts program that develops students’ writing abilities while encouraging them to become critical, appreciative readers of poetry. IPG can easily be incorporated into any language arts curriculum in junior and senior high schools.
Through web-based interactions, students exchange their work and ideas with fellow writers around the world. Their poems are also read by a group of Mentors — University of Michigan students who support and critique participants’ work and engage them in an on-going discussion of poetics and the creative process.
A typical IPG guild connects poets at several schools over the course of a school term. The poets are in daily contact with one another, posting their poetry on the password protected website to which all schools have access, and reading and commenting on the work of others. At the end of the term, the Mentors bestow the Poetry Guild awards, in recognition of a variety of outstanding poetic achievements.
To assist the student poets, each guild is assigned several Mentors. The Mentors are University students of poetry and writers of poetry who enroll in a School of Education course, with their coursework centered on intensive interaction with the students. IPG was founded and continues to exist on the assumption that young writers often don’t have a safe and supportive place to pursue their writing. We consider it a most significant endeavor to try and stake out such a place for young writers, and it is the mentors who are primarily responsible for pointing the way to this ideal. The mentors offer support to the young writers while also striving to model behavior and approaches to criticism that will help some of our IPG participants begin to truly see themselves as writers, writers with something important to say. It is the combination of the writing of poetry that all students in all participating schools undertake, and the cultivation of a safe environment in which poets can share and discuss their work, that makes up the International Poetry Guild.
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How to Join
IPG runs twice a year, mid-September until early December and late January through April. To join us, sign up here.