Our First Language: Why Kids Need Poetry: Essay

Word play for world peace Does poetry matter? Published at slow journal Wild River Review, this essay considers how kids can build critical thinking skills through word play. Poems can be used like discussion tables with unlimited seating capacity, where the most delicate topics are open for everyone’s consideration. By teaching kids to play with poetry, we can help them prepare to be twenty first century problem solvers. Published in September 2012 at Wild River Review, you can read the 2020 reprint on my blog.


Author: Jade Blackwater, Brainripples Photos of Poets in Schools courtesy of the Skagit River Poetry Project in La Conner, Washington. Photo of Poetry Kiosk and Devany’s poem courtesy of Rebecca Frevert Generous contributions and enthusiastic support provided by: — Director Molly McNulty, Linda Talman, and staff at the Skagit River Poetry Project — Washington State Poet Laureate (2012-2014) Kathleen Flenniken — Washington poet and nurse-midwife Rebecca Frevert