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20 ideas on getting your kids started with poetry

Everyone can be a poet with just a few prompts

Lisa Caloro Sullivan Cty Poet Laureate
Lisa Caloro, the Sullivan County Poet Laureate, says she wants "to bring people poetry that speaks directly to them, in their blood language, that becomes part of their music, part of their language, part of their life." She is a co-sponsor of the
Sidewalk Poetry Challenge.

Jill Valentino in a recent article quoted Robert Milby, Poet Laureate of Orange County. “Encouraging children and teens to pursue and explore literature and creative writing is more important than ever," says Milby. "How often do we encounter children who can recite Frost, Longfellow, Poe, Dickinson?

Not often enough, these days.

Daniel Pierce Library, as part of their kids and creativity series, in conjunction with Lisa Caloro, the Sullivan County Poet Laureate, has created a unique challenge for the entire family.

I will write poetry on a sidewalk
on a driveway, on a rock
on a wall, on a stoop
I will write it everywhere!
I will write it in blue, in green
in yellow, in red, in rainbow colors.
I will write it everywhere!

According to library staff, this is a unique time, and they wanted to challenge all adults and their kids too.

Join this fun family activity and enter the challenge by June 30th. They are asking you to write a poem anywhere outside. Take a photo and send it to the library. What fun. Encourage your entire family to participate.

Words don't come easy, then draw a favorite object. Set your creativity free! Submit photos to by June 30th.

To get everyone started on their poetry adventure, the Sullivan County Poet Laureate offered 20 ‘get-started’ ideas.

  1. Write a poem about a time you were surprised
  2. Write a poem about your town.
  3. Write a poem to your pet.
  4. Write a poem describing what you see out your window
  5. Write a poem that repeats the phrase “I Remember” or “I want.”
  6. Write a poem about your favorite treat.
  7. Write a poem about your most valuable possession that doesn’t rhyme.
  8. Write a poem in the voice of a bug.
  9. Write a poem about a time you were afraid.
  10. Write a poem that repeats these words: rain, feathers, window, daylight, hands and smile.
  11. Write a silly poem about your sibling.
  12. Write a poem about the rain.
  13. Write a poem about your favorite sport.
  14. Write a poem to your mom or dad or grandma or grandpa.
  15. Write a poem about your favorite place.
  16. Write a poem about the last time you cried.
  17. Write a poem that describes your favorite color.
  18. Make a list of your favorite words and write a poem using 10 of them.
  19. Write a poem that describes your bedroom.
  20. Write a poem that repeats the phrase “I wish.
I was personally excited about this activity and decided to participate in the challenge. My poem is called, ‘My Frog Kingdom.’

Good luck
Frog garden
Bringing joy
To all who see it.


Write your poem
Draw an object 
Take a photo 
Send it to the library.
Submit photos to by June 30th

Lisa Caloro is in her sixteenth year of teaching writing, poetry, and literature at SUNY Sullivan. She resides in Hurleyville with her 13 and 14 year old children, her partner, her dog, and her four cats. Her poems have appeared in Jelly Bucket, Evening Street Review, The Carolina Quarterly and The Packingtown Review, among other journals. As Poet Laureate of Sullivan County, she hopes "to bring people poetry that speaks directly to them, in their blood language, that becomes part of their music, part of their language, part of their life."

Check out some of her published pieces.
"Lost Art” 
Midnight Hives”  

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