How are artists reacting to the current economic situation? How do poets explain their memories? How do they commemorate the new president or articulate identities both modern and traditional?


In this video package of nine NewsHour Poetry pieces, American poets from a variety of backgrounds explore the written and spoken word to explain the world around them.

Divide students into nine groups and ask them to answer the following warm up and discussion questions. Once the student groups have answered questions for their own poetry piece, allow them to roam about the room and ask other students about their videos and discuss the similarities and differences between their featured poets.

Warm Up
1. Who is your favorite poet? Why?

2. Name some important poems. Why are they important? What is their meaning?



1. What images or words from the poem stood out for you? How did the poet use language differently than you are used to hearing?

2. What does this poem say about the current (economic, political, social) state in America?

3. Did this poem feel familiar to you or distant? Why?

4. How would you find out if there are any poets in your community? See if there are any performances or book readings, and then talk to the poet about if and how their community has changed their perspective.

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