Restraint-Powered Creativity


This month I’m experimenting with poetry as an Ouliposter. One of the tenets of this project is that constraint gives way to creativity. I have found this to be true in my role as Poet Laureate – the often short-notice call to compose a poem commemorating a person or local event has allowed me to play with language in a way that I didn’t think was possible. It is not always best to wait for the muse to strike; creativity can indeed spring from desperation!

As an educator, I’ve been thinking and working quite a bit on the role that poetry plays in learning. Especially now in this STEM-powered, standards-based climate, it’s important to keep poetry alive and well and relevant. I recently presented a workshop on the poetry of place and the place for poetry in the common core at a conference sponsored by the Northwest Inland Writing Project and the University of Idaho. During the workshop, participants were introduced to a few poetic forms and given time to craft a poem or two. Much of the work was surprisingly significant and heart-felt. At the end, I suggested that the folks could leave a comment about their experience on an index card. I was most impressed by the card handed to me by a high school English teacher who wrote a thank you in the form of a crossword puzzle, capturing words and phrases from my presentation. Another reminder that words matter!

About katemccarrollmoore

Kate Moore’s passion is literacy, and she serves as a mentor teacher and staff developer throughout the greater Bay Area. Kate served three terms as the City of San Ramon's Poet Laureate (2012-2018); she also teaches poetry writing workshops for children and adults. Kate holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership for Social Justice from California State University, East Bay, an M.A. in Teacher Leadership from St. Mary’s and a B.A. in English Education from SUNY Albany. She and Bob Moore are the proud parents of four beautiful grown daughters, and the smitten grandparents of six beautiful children who fill them with hope for the future.
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2 Responses to Restraint-Powered Creativity

  1. Crossword! How wonderful!

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